Labor plays politics with Beechmont Road safety

Member for Mudgeeraba, Ros Bates MP and Member for Beaudesert, Jon Krause MP today slammed the Minister for Main Roads, Mark Bailey for having no plans to upgrade a dangerous section of Beechmont Road, between Elimbah Court and Jardine Road.

“I wrote to the Minister asking him to consider a concept design for widening this section of Beechmont Road,” said Ms Bates.

“In his reply dated 4 May 2015, the Minister completely ignored the request and only conceded to ‘direct’ TMR to investigate options to improve line marking along this section of Beechmont Road.”

“I then asked the Minister a Question on Notice based on email advice from TMR in 2013 received by both myself and the Better Roads for Beechmont group that as “there is insufficient space for any centre line marking,” would he consider widening this section of road.”

“In his response the Minister stated he had not received any advice from his Department that line markings could not be installed, and that his previous advice “had not changed.”

Mr Krause is appalled at the apparent disregard for the safety of residents utilising this dangerous road.

“The Minister had 30 days to go back to his Department and ask the question again but his only response was an incomplete reply which did not address whether he had sought further advice or that he had even bothered to request a concept design for Beechmont Road,” said Mr Krause.

Ms Bates said this is not the first time the Minister has been caught out telling ‘porky pies’ and that he is fumbling around in the dark in relation to this very important portfolio.

“Only last week the he was caught out, ‘forgetting’ to ask the Federal Government for future funding for the Pacific Motorway,” she said.

“Is the Minister ignoring his Department’s advice or does he simply not consult with them at all?”

Better Roads for Beechmont chairman Greg McKenzie said the community had been left in the dark by the Government.

“Either the Government is not listening or the Minister does not know what he is doing, and in the meantime residents using Beechmont Road are being ignored whilst they buy time through empty promises.”

Summary of correspondence between Mr Paul Noonan, Regional Director of the Department of Transport and Main Roads and Better Roads for Beechmont:

9/7/13 – Paul Noonan said:

TMR confirms its previous advice that the road through this area including the Elimbah Court and Jardine Road section is too narrow to accommodate a centre line or edge marking, and is therefore unable to meet this request.

Note that the road was eventually edge marked after BR4B expressed further concern.

13/8/13 – In a follow up email to 9/7/13, BR4B asked TMR to consider linemarking the bends and some wider sections (see pdf attached), Paul Noonan replied:

….although it may appear that these sections of road are wider, it does not necessarily provide adequate width for centre line marking. At these particular locations, line marking based on the requirements of a straight road would only allow centre line marking for approximately 10 – 20 metres, and for bends such as these, allowing for the geometry of cornering vehicles,  there is insufficient space for any centre line marking.

10/12/13 – BR4B sent an email enquiring about dots painted on the road at one particularly wide bend between Elimbah and Jardine Sts that TMR had said was too narrow. BR4B received no reply but TMR attended site and removed the dots.

20/2/14 – Paul Noonan said:

Beechmont Road is a narrow winding road on steep slopes. Widening the section of road between Elimbah Court and Jardine Road would require significant earthworks and retaining structures to be cut into the hill. In addition, the installation of guardrail at certain locations cannot be accommodated due to insufficient shoulder width to install guardrail posts. Major earthworks would be required to provide an adequate platform for the guardrail and in many locations such earthworks would be difficult and costly due to the very steep topography. TMR has no plans to widen this section of Beechmont Road or install additional guardrail in the near future because of the high costs of widening compared to many other road upgrade priorities competing for funding.

 

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