Keiraville traffic putting students at risk: parents

Keiraville P&C president Clair Langford, with daughters Floria, 10, and Georgie, 7. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Keiraville P&C president Clair Langford, with daughters Floria, 10, and Georgie, 7. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Keiraville parents are banning their children from walking to school alone over fears one of them will be hit and killed in the heavy traffic that plagues the area. 

The revelation comes after Wollongong City Council announced last Monday night it would withhold funding for a crucial traffic study of the area in next year’s budget

Navigating a safe route to school in Keiraville is a difficult feat, according to parents, as a lack of pathways along some key streets and parking congestion often force people to walk on busy roads.

"When I do walk children home I might have four or five kids and crossing Robsons Rd is always challenging," Keiraville Public School P&C president Clair Langford said.

"I don't let my kids - even my oldest child who is 10 - walk to school alone because of that issue.

"I was walking home from school from about age seven but I wouldn't dream of it here."

More than 200 students from Keiraville PS live west of Robsons Rd, which is often plagued with heavy traffic and parking congestion during peak university periods.

Ms Langford said the road was particularly dangerous where it meets Gipps Rd, but so far community concerns had failed to prompt the council or the Roads and Maritime Services into action.

"There have been a number of near-misses - I've seen one person knocked over on the corner of Gipps and Robsons Rds before - but it's like they're waiting for a death before they do anything about it, which is rather unfortunate," she said.

Traffic and parking congestion topped the wish-list Keiraville and Gwynneville residents submitted to council in March, under its new community-led approach to suburban planning.

The report was compiled after many residents took part in workshops and surveys to develop a vision for development in the area.

Keiraville resident Bess Moylan, who was heavily involved with the process, said safety was at the forefront of residents' minds when they complain about traffic issues.

"Sometimes it may come across as people just complaining because they can't park out the front of their house but actually, it's more than that," she said.

"What has come out of our community consultation process was that the safety aspect was a very real concern for a lot of our residents.

"There are parents who won't let their children walk to school now because of the traffic on Robsons Road, and one of our requests [to council] is they look at how that traffic is having an impact on kids being able to walk to school, because that's a safety concern."

Plans to create a drop-off zone for parents along Gipps Road have so far proved unsuccessful.

Ms Moylan said the traffic access and movement study could have also looked at moving parking away from intersections so it would be safer for drivers to make right-hand turns.

Last week a spokesman said council had resolved to prepare an "implementation plan" for the Keiraville-Gwynneville precinct, which would identify the need for an access and movement study, the associated costs and timeframe.

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