Long road to safety

Holly ThompsonSound Telegraph
The crash at Mark Threlfall's home in April.
Camera IconThe crash at Mark Threlfall's home in April.

Rockingham councillors have voted to lower the speed limit along Stakehill Road in Baldivis but have said more needs to be done to ensure the safety of residents and drivers alike.

The speed limit reduction from 80kmh to 70kmh was voted in unanimously at last week’s council meeting.

Cr Sally Davis, who put the recommendation forward, acknowledged it was just a small part of what needed to happen.

“I’d like to thank the residents for coming forward and drawing our attention to this and to acknowledge their fairly tireless commitment to trying to make some of these changes over a really long period of time,” she said.

“I’d like to echo the concerns of the residents that dropping the speed limit is just a very small part in what needs to happen.

“It feels like these residents are stuck between local and State government; I think this is the least we can do.”

Stakehill Road resident Mark Threlfall is one of many who have taken their concerns regarding the safety of the road to council after a car almost crashed through his home in April.

Mark Threlfall stands next to the damage in his front hedges, caused by a car loosing control and crashing metres from his home.
Camera IconMark Threlfall stands next to the damage in his front hedges, caused by a car loosing control and crashing metres from his home.

“It was reassuring to hear the councillors say that more needs to be done, with a speed limit reduction being only the first step,” he said.

“Several councillors have met with us on site, with most of them shocked to not only see how close my home is to this busy freeway road but its dangerous position next to a blind bend and how many trucks and heavy vehicles were passing at speed within metres of my home.”

Mr Threlfall, pictured, said one thing he was waiting on was a decision on whether temporary crash barriers could be installed in front of his home.

He said five trees had recently been removed from around his property due to storm damage, two of which had stopped cars coming too close to his home after they crashed.

“The trajectory of previous accidents would have seen vehicles crash straight through our home and I would consider these trees to have potentially saved our lives,” he said.

“We are now more vulnerable than ever before and classify the risk as extreme and imminent, hence my plea with the City to act now before it is too late.

“The road was never designed for the traffic type and volume that is using it now and needs to be re-aligned and brought up to standard as a matter of urgency.”

Cr Deb Hamblin said she “implored the officers to really move forward on some short-term safety measures”.

Cr Mark Jones said the council should be advocating more to Development WA on behalf of the residents.

The front page of the Sound Telegraph on August 4, highlighting the issues along Stakehill Road.
Camera IconThe front page of the Sound Telegraph on August 4, highlighting the issues along Stakehill Road.

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