By Bonny Burrows
A local driving instructor has questioned a six-month hold-up in activating pedestrian crossing lights at a Pakenham “danger zone”.
Drive2Drive instructor Elaina Haig was instrumental in getting the McGregor Road pedestrian lights, just outside the Heritage Springs Shopping Centre, installed at the beginning of the year.
The project was expected to be completed before the beginning of the school year.
But almost six months on, the lights on the 70 kilometre per hour road have remained dormant – and she wants to know why.
In a bid for answers, Ms Haig has been in contact with all relevant bodies responsible for local roads and electricity supply.
However finding the cause of the delay has proved difficult.
Cardinia Shire, VicRoads and electricity provider AusNet have all pointed the finger at each other.
But Ms Haig said she didn’t care whose fault it was, she just wanted the lights switched on before somebody got hit.
“This is a 70km/h road; according to the TAC (Transport Accident Commission) 30km/h is enough to seriously injury someone so at 70, a child will die,” Ms Haig said.
Currently the crossing, used by children of Pakenham Springs Primary School and residents of the nearby retirement village, is manned during school pick-up and drop-offs by a crossing supervisor.
This wasn’t safe, Ms Haig said, as cars flew down the road.
She said the solution was simple – turn on the lights.
“They’re there ready to go and have been for almost six months. It’s not that hard,” Ms Haig said.
A spokesperson for VicRoads told the Gazette the project was “sitting with Cardinia Shire Council”.
Cardinia Shire Council acting manager of Infrastructure Services Cathal O’Loughlin said the lights were installed in January by a council contractor.
“As part of this work, the contractor applied to Ausnet Services to have power connected to the signals,” Mr O’Loughlin said.
“Council received the offer for the power connection from Ausnet Services on 4 May 2017, which we have accepted. However, we have not yet received a response advising when the electrification of the signals will occur.”
An Ausnet Services spokeswoman was contacted for comment.
“Connecting pedestrian lights involves detailed planning and site work. We have been working with Cardinia Council since February,” the spokeswoman said.
“Once the council has submitted payment and final plans, we will connect the lights.”