Petition to reduce Tomakin Road from 100km to 80km
Eurobodalla Council has received a signed petition from residents who live along Tomakin Road regarding reducing the 100km/hr speed limit to 80km/hr and the lack of information on the road works. The Tomakin Road now carries up to approximately 1,700,000 vehicles per annum with the traffic volume growing approximately 400,000 vehicles per annum over the last 6 years. That traffic flow is expected to continue to grow significantly as Broulee, Tomakin and Rosedale develop further and higher numbers of visitors come to Eurobodalla. The Tomakin Road Residents Group have been made aware of proposed road reserve clearing and widening along Tomakin Road saying "Tomakin Road is only 6km long and is a local rural road with a high number of private driveways and has a winding alignment." A spokesperson for the group told The Beagle "It is used by locals and holiday visitors alike. No resident on the road has been informed or consulted. We should be made aware of what the purpose of the road upgrade is, where the funding came from and what community consultation should be done by Council."
Council has advise the group that it has secured and formally accepted a road safety grant to upgrade Tomakin Road for the current and future traffic to be delivered over three financial years.
It is understood by the group that the first phase of the work will be from near the Dunns Creek Road intersection to Tomakin in 2020-21 and will include recycling materials from the Dunns Creek Road project into the area directly opposite the caravan park entrance on Tamakin Road to improve road safety and make the best use of this material. The residents group have been told that clearing in this section will be minimal and that the cross-section of the road pavement and shoulder configuration will be the same including sealed shoulders suitable to cyclists, similar to the already complete section near the Mogo Zoo entrance. The residents, however, do not agree with the road widening and propose the speed is reduced to 80km saying "This would make is safer for cyclists, pedestrians and road users. In the NSW Speed Zone Guidelines, it is implied that a rural road with a number of private driveways should have a speed limit of no more than 80km/hr. Tomakin Road has 32 private driveways." "Lowering speeds deliver significant road safety benefits, reducing both the number and severity of crashes (2009 Roads and Traffic Authority NSW). In the past month of June 2020, there have already been crashes on Tomakin Road. Reductions in speed limits result in reduction in road trauma, particularly for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users so we believe an 80km/h speed is appropriate. "Most crashes along Tomakin Road are due to excessive speeds and cars overtaking, and not cars hitting trees," said the resident's group spokesperson. "We choose to live along Tomakin Road due to its natural amenity and do not wish to live along a tree less highway. We will lose functional values including shade, visual buffering for residents, wind protection, increased soil erosion along the riparian zones and a complete change in the landscape character." Requesting a copy of the Review of Environmental Factors, Cultural Heritage Survey, Part 5 Assessment and Design Plans for the road the residents have been advised that the design and REF for the upcoming work will be available once complete and that Council "is conscious of retaining vegetation where appropriate taking into account the road safety objectives, the constraints of the road reserve and resilience to fire impact". Council have advised that they are prepared to provide tube stock of endemic species to residents along this route, noting the impact of the recent bushfires on private properties, to assist re-establish trees on property as a separate measure to assist the environmental outcomes.
This was received and noted with the residents saying "As you’d be aware, nearly 80% of Eurobodalla Shire has been burnt in recent fires. This makes protecting forest in the Mogo area and retaining every tree we can across the entire Shire more important than ever before. We do not want the loss of further roadside vegetation, some of which has already suffered from this season’s bushfires. Maintaining habitat connectivity and corridors from the forested properties across to the State Forest is important for native wildlife, which are constantly killed on our road."
"We also understand members of the public can make requests to Transport for NSW for changes in speed zones and there is a commitment in the guidelines to ensure that community views are considered in speed zone management. We have made submissions to request that Transport for NSW review the proposed speed limit on Tomakin Road and understand a formal review is in progress. We will be interested to see these results compared to the 2014 review. The Tomakin Road Residents Group members told The Beagle ; "We believe an 80km/h speed limit along Tomakin Road is appropriate due to the following; · Residents do not feel safe when pulling onto or slowing to leave a 100km/h road from rural driveways. · A speed reduction would slow the speed of vehicles as they approach the many corners including the approach to Mogo Village, the mid-section approaching Dunns Creek road and the top of the hill from Tomakin roundabout. · It would be a much safer speed for the road which is shared with cyclists, pedestrians and has 32 private driveways. · Widening the road and removing vegetation will encourage drivers to speed on a road which is already 100km/h. · We do not feel that crash barriers are a suitable alternative, and do not wish to live along a metal lined highway. · It would allow for the retention of the current road alignment and preserve the amenity of Tomakin Road · There is a school bus stop at the corner of Dunns Creek Road which is currently unsafe for bus drivers and residents to pull into at 100km/h. · Collisions with native fauna (mainly kangaroos and wallabies) crossing the road will be reduced, which may potentially result in vehicle damage, as well as injury to passengers; · The road will be safer for holiday visitors who are not familiar with the road alignment.
"We request that no further road works or tree clearing is conducted until the relevant documents have been made available." You can contact the Tomakin Road Residents Group at firstname.lastname@example.org