‘Scary’ intersection for school kids

Students and parents of Bargara State School with Burnett MP Stephen Bennett. Picture: FILE

By Aaron Goodwin

On National Walk Safely to School Day (20 May) Burnett MP Stephen Bennett and members of the Bargara State School community are reinvigorating calls to upgrade the busy Bargara-Hughes Road intersection.

The school community is calling on the State Government to implement safety measures like a roundabout, set of traffic lights or even a lollipop lady at the dangerous intersection, with a number of parents and students fearing for their own safety each day going to and from school.

More than 1,500 people have signed petitions to upgrade the pedestrian crossing at the dangerous intersection, but Mr Bennett said their pleas have been ignored.

Mr Bennett has campaigned for upgrades for a couple of years.

“Primary School aged children are crossing this very hazardous intersection to get to Bargara State School, and I’m sad to say that I have heard from many witnesses who report nears misses every week at this intersection,” he said.

“Bargara State School is one of very few schools that doesn’t have a formal crossing in place – no lollipop supervisor or traffic lights in sight, despite an ever-increasing population.”

In response to a Question on Notice, Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey stated:

”The proposed Bargara Rd site does not meet the eligibility criteria for a supervised school crossing.

”The proposed site …. has very low pedestrian movements, is not safe for school crossing infrastructure, and pedestrians can safely cross at a signalised crossing at the intersection of Davidson Street and Bargara Road.’

Mr Bennett said the response is unacceptable.

”The Minister is admitting it’s a safety concern but doesn’t believe this issue warrants a better crossing for those kids,” Mr Bennett said.

“We struggle to understand the Minister’s claims that there are not enough student movements to justify a safe crossing.

“When it comes to kids’ lives, we can’t afford to take any chances.”

Year four student Corle Grills regularly crosses the intersection with her peers and had a message for the Minister.

“Please can you fix it so Bargara School kids and other kids can cross safely and have fun,” she said.

“It is quite busy crossing there.

“It’s a little bit scary with lots of cars going really fast.”

Mr Bennett vowed to continue to fight for a safety upgrade on behalf of concerned parents, students, and the greater community.