A GROUP of residents believe it is only a matter of time before there is a fatal crash at the intersection of Howard Street and the Midland Highway in Epsom.
The Epsom Road Safety Group is now calling on Regional Roads Victoria to upgrade the intersection before there is further development in the area.
Committee member Emma Patten said the group was petitioning the Victorian parliament to prioritise funding for proposed upgrades to the intersection.
Ms Patten said a planning application has been lodged for a gym, restaurant, car wash and bottle shop on vacant land at one corner of the intersection, with a KFC already approved for construction directly opposite.
She said upgrades to the intersection were needed before development goes ahead.
"There are plans and funding for the upgrade of that intersection but they won't be allocated for a number of years," she said.
"We have developments on both the north east and north west corners of the intersection and what we are asking for those upgrades to be brought forward before the developments take place.
"What we are concerned about is if those developments take place, there won't be any room for the upgrades to take place."
Ms Patten said the community has been advocating for a change the intersection in Epsom for many many years.
'What we are doing is working with the systems and being part of that decision making and trying to partner with organsations to get the evidence to the," she said.
"The community has seen lots of near misses and we see near misses on a regular basis at the intersection.
"This is a high risk area."
The group was created back in February after two school children were were hit by a car crossing the intersection.
"It's a matter of time before there is a fatal and we nearly saw that with the incident with the school kids earlier this year," Ms Patten said.
"Our concern is that it will take the death of a child for the government to act sooner rather than later.
"We are trying to avoid that and that is why we are petitioning so hard."
Our concern is that it will take the death of a child for the government to act sooner rather than later.Committee member Emma Patten
The Department of Transport said it would continue to work with the City of Greater Bendigo to address any concerns raised by the community on future development implications for the road junction.
"The Department of Transport is continuing to look at ways we can improve safety at this intersection, both short and long-term," Loddon Mallee director Melanie Hotton said.
"Recently, we upgraded the traffic sequencing to allow for a longer right-hand turn signal from Howard Street to the Midland Highway, which has already improved safety and traffic flow."
The Department of Transport manages Midland Highway, and the City of Greater Bendigo oversees Howard Street.
Approximately 12,000 vehicles use the Midland Highway per day, of which 23 per cent are heavy vehicles.
The Epsom Road Safety group is also conducting a community survey where members of the public can voice their road safety concerns and report near misses in the suburb to guide their advocacy.
The data will assist the group to focus their community education and advocacy on problems areas and apply for funding where required.
The survey can be found here.
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