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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Council responds to RMS plans for Narooma as a matter of Urgency

Councillor Phil Constable raised an issue of urgent business regarding NSW Road and Maritime services has proposed to ban the right turn off the Princes Highway at Centenary Drive, Narooma. The RMS has sought feedback by 9 July 2019. The Mayor declared the item urgent, as Council would not meet again until 30 July 2019 and the matter is of importance to the Narooma community. Centenary Drive accesses local beaches, the Narooma Boardwalk, Apex Park boat ramp, Mill Bay boat ramp, commercial jetties and the foreshore areas. Much of the traffic flows from Narooma turning right off the Princes Highway into this popular area. Since the RMS proposal has been made public, I have been contacted by residents raising significant concerns with the RMS proposal. I therefore sought advice from the Director Infrastructure Services who advised the following: "Whilst we appreciate the efforts being made by the RMS to improve safety on the Princes Highway, we do not support this proposal. Alterations to traffic arrangements must be considered more holistically with appropriate detailed traffic analysis and planning. Preventing right turns at this junction will move the traffic to the Princes Highway/Dalmeny Drive intersection. Although this intersection has a short protected right hand turn, it too is in a spot with limited sight lines and the storage capacity in the right turn bay will be inadequate to manage the additional right turning traffic that will be diverted to this site. Additionally, many seeking to access Mill Bay, and Apex Park will divert onto Williamson Drive. This means propping to turn right off Dalmeny Drive close to the highway intersection (including the many boat and trailer combinations). There is no appropriate intersection treatment at this location and this will introduce a significant hazard at this point. Williamson Drive will be the shortcut. This road is a narrow low standard residential access, not suited to having lots of boat and trailer combinations and increased traffic diverted onto it. The junction with Centenary Drive is also not ideal for managing such increased traffic. The NSW Roads and Maritime Services acquired land directly opposite Centenary Drive with a view to providing the highway with a suitable alignment. This provides the land needed to widen the highway and provide a suitable intersection treatment to Centenary Drive. In the interim, the RMS could increase signage and delineation on the approaches to the intersection to mitigate the risk at low cost. Therefore the proposal from the RMS simply moves the existing challenges and risks to the Princes Highway/Dalmeny Drive intersection and local road network (which has not been designed to cater for this amount of traffic). The RMS has the land and capacity to provide an appropriate solution at the Princes Highway/Centenary Drive intersection. We were approached by the RMS a little while back and advised them of the above. A copy of the RMS proposal, and plans of the broader area is below to clarify the roads involved.

We recommend Council write to the RMS and Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance MP objecting to the proposals." As a local Narooma resident and Councillor I agree with Director Sharpe's assessment. Moreover, I point out that access via Centenary Drive to this foreshore and tourism area is of significant economic importance to our town. 19/001 RMS PROPOSED SAFETY UPGRADE FOR PRINCES HIGHWAY AND CENTENARY DRIVE INTERSECTION AT NAROOMA 19/130 MOTION Councillor Constable/Councillor McGinlay THAT: 1. Council respond to the request to provide feedback on the proposal from the NSW Roads and Maritime Services to ban the right turn off the Princes Highway into Centenary Drive by: a) strongly objecting to this proposal to ensure the right turn is retained; b) requesting Roads and Maritime Services (soon to be Transport for NSW) to: i. provide the necessary funding to upgrade the intersection at Princes Highway/ Centenary Drive using the land already owned by the NSW Government opposite Centenary Drive; ii. introduce additional signage and delineation, as an interim measure to improve road safety outcomes; 2. Council write to the Hon Andrew Constance MP, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, seeking his support for Council's position on this matter. 3. (The Motion on being put was declared CARRIED)

NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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