Geurie pedestrian crossing will start upgrades in May

Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders, Geurie General Store owner Rachel McMaster and RMS senior manager of regional infrastructure services Peter Stitt. Photo: Taylor Jurd.
Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders, Geurie General Store owner Rachel McMaster and RMS senior manager of regional infrastructure services Peter Stitt. Photo: Taylor Jurd.

Upgrade works to the Geurie pedestrian crossing will finally be underway next week with more work to be done over the coming month.

There was community outcry in June 2018 after the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) initially planned to remove the pedestrian crossing.

But after the RMS conducted drop in sessions, which was attended by more than 100 people, it was decided that the crossing would stay and a review would be done to the speed limit.

From June 21 a new 50 kilometre per hour speed limit along the Mitchell Highway will come into effect upon entering and exiting Geurie.

Work will also see a vehicle activated signage installed in the town to advise speeding motorists to slow down.

The pedestrian crossing's kerb will also be extended on both sides of the road.

Geurie local and co-owner of Geurie General Store, Rachel McMaster was pleased with that the RMS decided not to remove the crossing and instead decided to undertake upgrades.

"I think the upgrades will be great. I think there will be more visibility," she added.

"There have been a lot of concerns in the community about the safety of people crossing the road because Geurie has become busier and a lot of people use the crossing at the peak times of school time and buses and

Ms McMaster said the morning and afternoons are a peak hour time for the community and vehicles coming through.

"I think reducing the speed zone through the town is really important. What people don't realise is when you've actually got large trucks and lots of traffic you don't see thins as clearly, so I think it will help going that fraction slower," she said.

Another work begin done by DRC to make the crossing safer is the removal of two trees which will help aid driver vision.

Ms McMaster said unless you've approached the crossing or have tried to pull out of the areas you wouldn't understand just how much they do encroach on the crossing.

"I think at the end of the day safety is the main thing concerning a crossing and visibility so people can approach it safely," Ms McMaster said.

The local business owner appreciated the RMS taking the time to do a survey with the traffic.

"They have really worked with us well on this one. Initially we had to work some things out but now we're at a point where I think it's going to be beneficial to everyone. We;re really grateful for that," Ms McMaster said.

RMS senior manager of regional infrastructure services Peter Stitt said the Geurie project of $200,000 is small compared to other works being carried out, but in terms of bang for buck was a really good outcome.

"In terms of really having an impact on a community this is the kind of stuff we love doing," he said.

Mr Stitt said although they never like removing trees, because they;'re often planted by the community, sometimes it was necessary to improve safety.

"That will actually open it up for the lighting and better sight for truck drivers who use this road as well," he said.

"In many places we look at alternatives to plant trees."

The upgrades will be carried out by Dubbo Regional Council on behalf on the RMS between May 21 to June 21 from 7am to 6pm.

For motorists and worker safety, lane closures and a reduced speed limit of 40km/hour will be in place during work hours.