2km drive just to cross road
By MARY MANN
WOODBURN mum Raelene Davis says putting her kids on the school bus each morning has turned into a nightmare since the RTA put a wire cable down the middle of the section of highway outside her home.
Raelene's family lives on one side of the Pacific Highway and her eight-year-old twin daughters need to catch the bus on the other side.
It had not been a problem until this week, when a wire cable about 2km long was erected on a median strip, effectively cutting off her access to the bus stop.
She now has to either lift her daughters over the cabling to get them to the bus stop, or drive about a 2km-round trip to get around the cabling.
The frustrated mum has been pushing the RTA to create a break in the cabling outside her home, big enough for someone to walk through, but says after a month of letters and meetings, she has had no luck.
"It's a real hassle and a safety problem," Raelene said.
"When I have go to work, my 75-year-old mum puts the girls on the bus but she's too frail to lift them over.
"And she's getting too old to drive, but there's no other option."
The strip was part of an upgrade to the section of highway which involved widening the road and creating a third lane.
RTA Spokesperson Marco Spadaccini said the main objective was to separate traffic to prevent head-on crashes.
"Along this stretch of the Pacific Highway there have been a number of serious crashes involving vehicles crossing the centreline," he said. "The new wire rope will vastly improve safety by preventing head-on crashes.
"The RTA was approached in the development of this project to consider a break in the wire rope safety barrier near some residences. Representatives of the RTA met with residents on site recently to discuss their concerns.
"After careful consideration the RTA determined that introducing additional breaks in the wire rope median barrier for pedestrian access would reduce safety and the overall benefit of installing the safety barriers."
He added however that a bus stop will be provided on the resident's side of the highway with a bus service each morning and afternoon.
Turn around facilities constructed at Nortons and Gap Roads would also help drivers needing to negotiate the median strip.