By Kate Taylor
The safety of pedestrians on a busy Bacchus Marsh street is set to improve in the New Year – but without the knowledge of one local councillor, it appears.
A local bus driver contacted the Moorabool News about the issue of the lack of a pedestrian crossing and bus shelters on Bennett St, Bacchus Marsh, saying it presents a danger to pedestrians.
Public Transport Victoria spokesperson Nicholas White told the Moorabool News that two stops would be moved and upgraded on Bennett St in the New Year to improve safety for passengers and pedestrians.
“The new bus stops will be fully accessible and shelters will protect passengers from any inclement weather,” Mr White explained.
“Construction is due to start in the first quarter of this year and be complete shortly after.”
But it’s the pedestrian crossing that is most important, according to the concerned bus driver.
“With the senior citizens centre across the road from the shopping centre, those people are struggling to get across what is a major road. They don’t move very quickly, and they stress a bit I think, and they don’t need it at that age. And there’s a kindergarten across the road too, it’s ridiculous that we’ve been waiting this long for a crossing,” he said.
“We’ve been asking for a crossing to be put there, and Tonia Dudzik said on facebook that she hasn’t had any people calling council saying we need a crossing there, and I find that hard to believe.”
The Moorabool News asked Cr Dudzik if she thought a crossing on Bennett St is required.
“A pedestrian crossing at Bennett Street near the bus stop and Village Shopping Centre would make it safer for children and the elderly to cross the road. I will make further enquiries and raise the need for a pedestrian crossing,” Cr Dudzik said.
However, when the Moorabool News asked council whether the construction of a pedestrian crossing would be its responsibility or that of VicRoads… it turns out, the project is already well on the radar.
“There is currently a pedestrian refuge next to the Bennett Street bus stops. Council is undertaking design work to convert this to a designated pedestrian crossing, factoring in the proposed bus stop upgrades that are scheduled to occur early this year by PTV,” read a council statement.
“Following completion of the design, the project will be referred to the capital program for funding.”