Labor to honour roads promise despite lack of complaints

The Springhill Road-Masters Road intersection has not been the subject of complaints to Roads and Maritime Services, but Wollongong MP Paul Scully plans to honour a commitment to upgrade it. Picture: Adam McLean
The Springhill Road-Masters Road intersection has not been the subject of complaints to Roads and Maritime Services, but Wollongong MP Paul Scully plans to honour a commitment to upgrade it. Picture: Adam McLean

Wollongong MP Paul Scully is continuing to pursue improvements to the Springhill and Masters roads intersection – despite the absence of any complaints about it.

During the campaign for the 2016 by-election for the seat of Wollongong, Mr Scully and Labor featured the intersection in its regional action plan, pledging to spend $40 million to improve it.

At the time Roads and Maritime Services said it had “received no complaints from the community” about the intersection.

Mr Scully had first stated RDA Illawarra had called for the road project, but later stated with was as a result of hearing complaints from residents during door-knocking.

During the campaign Mr Scully refuted the suggestion the intersection was included in action plan because it was the only road project in the Wollongong electorate.

However, rather than let the promise quietly fade away, Mr Scully is continuing to investigate the intersection.

He recently placed questions without notice asking about the number of fines and total revenue brought in by the red-light camera at the intersection.

The response from Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet was that 4852 drivers had been pinged for running a red light, with fines totalling $1.6 million.

In the same period just eight drivers had been fined for offences at the intersection unrelated to the red-light camera, bringing in $2863.

Mr Scully said upgrading the intersection “remains a commitment of Labor” and he hasn’t been put off by Roads and Maritime Services saying there have been no complaints.

“What we do know from this government is when they claim there have been no complaints, often you find out that there’s been a lot more,” Mr Scully said.

“We’re seeing that with the Gong Shuttle, where they’re claiming there have been complaints but they haven’t been able to produce any.

“In other areas they say there haven’t been complaints when there certainly has, such as overcrowding on the South Coast rail line.”

A spokeswoman for Roads and Maritime Services said there were no plans to upgrade the intersection as the number of crashes had dropped since the red-light cameras were installed in November 2013.

“Crashes in this location have since been decreasing,” the spokeswoman said.

“In 2014 there were 10 crashes at the intersection, but only three crashes each year in 2015 and 2016.”

She added that, in the five years to January 1, 2017, there had been 30 crashes resulting in 25 injuries at the intersection.