SAN REMO residents on Punchbowl Road are pleading to the Bass Coast Shire Council to reduce the speed limit along the dirt road, which links two key walkways.
Resident Paula Davidson last week requested Bass Coast Shire Council applies to VicRoads to reduce the speed limit to 20 km/h after a series of “near misses”.
As is the case with many residents along the dirt road, Ms Davidson’s house is metres past a large hill. And at 100 km/h, with dust and stones flicking up onto cars and people, driving up to 100 km/h is posing serious risks.
Earlier this year, a driver ploughed into trees at the bottom of the road. A sign telling drivers to slow down is about 100m before the end of the road.
“He was lucky he didn’t drive off the cliff,” Ms Davidson said.
Punchbowl Road is a 1.5km road linking a walking track and the George Bass Coastal Walk.
At the council’s Community Connection Session last Wednesday, Ms Davidson asked for the speed limit to be reduced to 20 km/h, acting on behalf of residents on Punchbowl Road.
“We thought if we asked for 40, they’d give us 60 and if we asked for 20 they’d give us 40,” Ms Davidson said.
She added she would like to see a shared walkway, allowing pedestrians, push bikes and cars to move along the road.
Cr Bruce Kent said a 20 km/h speed limit wouldn’t bring drivers’ speed down.
After the meeting, Ms Davidson said drivers would obey it “if the police enforced it” adding drivers would be more likely to slow down if it was a shared walkway. Cr Kent is a police officer in Bass Coast.
“We’d be happy with 40 but if it’s going to be a shared walkway, it needs to be 20,” Ms Davidson said.
Cr Kent asked about the ultimate outcome and if residents would be up for a special charge scheme. Ms Davidson said residents just want a reduced speed limit. Cr Kent insisted residents should get together and discuss the idea.
But following the meeting, Ms Davidson said most residents aren’t keen on paying to seal the road.
“Most of the residents feel it’s not really their cost because the people who are damaging the roads are the tourists,” she said, adding that even if council paid for it, most residents still wouldn’t be keen on the idea.
“A sealed road would increase the speed of the traffic, unless they put in chicanes. So if you’re going to seal it, you’d have to do something about putting in diversions or speed humps to slow them down.
“But you’d have to get everyone to agree. Most have been here a lot longer than I have. It’s not up to me to come in and say ‘We want a sealed road’.”
Currently, there are two amphometers on the road, about 1km apart. Reduction of the speed limit on Punchbowl Road needs to be approved by VicRoads.