The stakes are high

Holly ThompsonSound Telegraph
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. Credit: Holly Thompson/ Sound Telegraph

Baldivis residents living along Stakehill Road are at breaking point after their calls for a new road have been dismissed, despite multiple serious crashes.

Stakehill Road was mostly used by local residents until 2010, when it was turned into one of the main access points to the freeway. Janice Harwood, who lives near the road, said since then it had never been updated to accommodate the increased traffic.

“Back as far as the 1990’s the plans were that Karnup Road was going to be extended and used as the main east-west connector to the freeway,” she said.

“The freeway opened in 2009 and then in 2010 the City of Rockingham decided they were going to abandon that Karnup Road extension.

“Stakehill Road was identified as the main road to the freeway instead. They did no risk assessment, no safety audit, no public consultation.”

Mrs Harwood said the road turned into a major highway with more than 5000 cars per day now travelling along it.

“When there was only a couple of hundred cars on the road a week the risk was pretty low but now we have a high percentage of heavy vehicles and it’s non-stop traffic,” she said.

“There are a lot of bends and dips in the road, the geometry is really pretty poor. There is also blind bends at intersections that have been added over the years.”

Stakehill Road resident Mark Threlfall has said it was impossible to see oncoming cars from multiple driveways along Stakehill Road.
Camera IconStakehill Road resident Mark Threlfall has said it was impossible to see oncoming cars from multiple driveways along Stakehill Road. Credit: Holly Thompson/ Sound Telegraph

For resident Mark Threlfall and his family, the design of the road has resulted in sleepless nights and the fear a car could come round a bend notorious for crashes, lose control and crash into their home.

In April this fear almost became reality, when a car crashed through two of their front hedges, before coming to a stop on their verge.

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

Mr Threlfall said there had been multiple near misses, including one which crashed into a tree close to his front verge and another where the car flipped onto its roof on the road opposite his house.

“This is just a few of the crashes, there have been so many. My family is at risk all the time, every day,” he said.

“There is no barrier from the road to my house besides the front fence and hedges, if they come off the road at speed towards my house they will crash straight through it.

“Our house is only 12m from the road boundary. No other road to the freeway in this area has residential homes so close.”

A crash that occured in front of a concealed access along Stakehill Road.
Camera IconA crash that occured in front of a concealed access along Stakehill Road.

Mrs Harwood said the best solution would be to realign the road and move it further south, which would improve the road geometry and push it further from residential homes.

“This deals with all the safety concerns, every aspect of it and would give a further 20m between the road and residential homes, she said.

Mayor Barry Sammels said the City had written to main roads to request the speed limit drop from 80km to 70km per hr.

“Delivery of the proposed future Stakehill Road alignment relies upon the land being reserved under the Metropolitan Region Scheme or identified in a structure plan approved by the State,” he said.

“Delivery of such road upgrades would not typically occur until the adjacent land is developed for urban purposes or traffic volumes on the current road warrant it.

Cr Sammels said the road was “unlikely to require upgrades within the next 10 years.”

Hilux head on crash into tree in October 2018
Camera IconHilux head on crash into tree in October 2018

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails