Decade-long fight for Elmore crossing gets support

Elmore residents want a safer pedestrian crossing in their main street.

Elmore residents want a safer pedestrian crossing in their main street.

A 10-YEAR fight to have a permanent crossing installed at Elmore is gaining momentum.

Liberal candidate for Bendigo East Greg Bickley has endorsed the campaign after residents presented him with a petition signed by more than 500 people. 

Elmore Progress Association president Bruce Anderson said residents were concerned about pedestrian safety on the Northern Highway, which separates the town's shops from its post office, railway station, swimming pool and recreation reserve. 

"We have been told there has to be a fatality or nothing will be done. I think this is ridiculous," he said. 

"It's going to be an elderly person or child who is unfortunately killed by a truck or car. That doesn't seem right for the sake of some paint and flashing lights."

The town has a crossing point near its post office, but it does not offer right of way for pedestrians. The petition asks for a zebra crossing and flashing lights to be installed.

Mr Anderson said the town's main street was a major traffic thoroughfare, receiving traffic from Echuca, Bendigo and Melbourne. 

"The principal of the primary school told me they had to park two cars on either side of the road with hazard lights on so the children could cross the road safely," he said. 

Meg Doller said she constantly worried about crossing the road with her two young children, Tom, 4, and Luke, 2, and said a safer crossing would "make a world of difference". 

"My concern is that until there is a serious accident nothing will be done, which is just horrible," she said. 

Elmore Senior Citizens' Club president Bill Comer said pedestrian safety was a major concern for elderly people who were slower to cross the road. 

"You go to step out and all of a sudden someone comes along. It's dangerous," he said. 

"Our reflexes are getting a bit slower now and we can't get across as quick."

In January 2013 a VicRoads spokesman said he was aware of the community request to upgrade the pedestrian crossing but it was unlikely to recieve funding as it was not considered high priority.

Mr Bickley said he spoken with Roads Minister Terry Mulder and would continue to fight for funding for the pedestrian crossing. 

"There needs to be action to fix this crossing now, not after an accident has occurred," he said. 

Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan said she had raised the issue in parliament but it had "fallen on (the) deaf ears (of Mr Mulder)". 

"Greg Bickley might want to explain why his Liberal road's minister hasn't done anything about it," she said. 

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