THE afterschool pick-up on Nerrena Road in Leongatha has nearby residents so worried they are urging VicRoads to help the situation.
Residents along the Ogilvy Street (Nerrena Road) service lane say there have been instances of near-misses when cars are parked in the narrow lane during school pick-up, despite ‘No standing’ signs.
While children get across Nerrena Road safely at the supervised crossing, the service lane becomes the danger.
Leongatha Primary School Principal Rob Higgins said traffic management was identified as an issue before the school moved to the site five years ago.
During that stage VicRoads, which manages Nerrena Road, met regularly with the schools.
“It’s a major VicRoads road,” Mr Higgins said.
“We have the 40km/h limit and school crossing and we regularly emphasise safety with our students and we are constantly enforcing that message – making sure children get safely to the crossing and safely cross the road.
“The problem is when parents come to pick up their children, particularly if it’s raining.
“That’s when we get parents and children crossing the road at the wrong places.”
Mr Higgins said an option of combining school pick-up with the bus loop near GippsTAFE would not help safety.
“There is in excess of 20 buses going in and out; the idea was to separate children and buses,” he said.
“What we need is a whole precinct plan.
“Both schools – Leongatha primary and secondary, are in the process of getting further drop-off sites but there is no funding committed.
“If we want to set up a new area, we need the community’s support.
“We are getting more parking on site, but we need the community’s support – to not exceed the 40km/h limit and to be mindful and careful of all those buses and children.”
That message was echoed by VicRoads.
When asked if VicRoads had any plans to improve road safety along Nerrena Road, it sent this statement from VicRoads Eastern Region Acting Regional Director Pas Monacella:
“VicRoads has previously worked with local schools and South Gippsland Shire Council to ensure the safety of children crossing Nerrena Road in Leongatha.
“A supervised crossing currently caters for both primary and secondary school students and reduced speed limits of 40km/h are implemented within school pick up and drop off times.
“VicRoads understands local governments provide facilitated education for students on how to use crossings and why it’s important to do so.
“VicRoads would like to remind motorists to slow down and adhere to the reduced speed limits in and around school pick up and drop off times.”
VicRoads: Nerrena Road safe enough