Primary school in trucks’ path

Elliminyt Primary School lies in the path of a proposed truck route through Colac.

A PRIMARY school lies in the path of a planned truck route through Colac.

Eight members of a heavy vehicle route community reference group have written to Colac Otway Shire Council, concerned about the safety of residents and children if a new truck route goes through housing areas or a school.

Reference group members told the Colac Herald that two of the eight shortlisted routes which the council’s consultants were considering went through Elliminyt Primary School, to connect to Irrewillipe Road.

Elliminyt Primary School Parents and Friends Association president Johanna Latham said she was against a truck route near any Colac schools.

“I think it’s crazy to be putting anything like that near a school, I just hope common sense prevails,” Mrs Latham said.

“Given there are outlying areas that could be utilised, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of logic to the options that will affect an awful lot of children and families,” she said.

“Just from a geographical point of view, that’d be terrible for Elliminyt because you’ve got a lot of kids in that area who attend that school because it’s the closest.

“There are already some issues with the log trucks that go down Main Street and the speeds that they approach, so having a heavy vehicle route right near a school I think would be asking for trouble.”

The six other options are a route across Lake Colac, one using Aireys Street, two north of the lake, one which turns off at Warncoort and exits at Pirron Yallock, and one which uses Forest Street and Larpent’s Monkton Estate Road.

The Colac Herald understands a reference group member asked consultants at their latest meeting to investigate a route alongside Colac’s train tracks.

Cr Frank Buchanan is a councillor representative in the project.

Cr Buchanan said the Elliminyt Primary School and Lake Colac routes were unfeasible.

“Forget them,” he said.

“It’s not going to work so you may as well cut them off quick.”

Cr Buchanan said the consultants should refine the list “very quickly to ones that are achievable and affordable rather than throw everything up in the air and say everything’s under consideration”.

Council infrastructure and services general manager Neil Allen said the consultant was preparing a report with four route options to divert trucks away from Murray Street in Colac’s central business district.

“These four options will undergo intensive investigation,” he said.

Mr Allen said the council would set another community reference group meeting once it received the report.

3 Responses to “Primary school in trucks’ path”

  1. Jo

    Anyone who thinks this is a good idea needs to see how bad it gets with the log trucks along that road. They are still doing 80 well into the 60 zone and only slow down when approaching Ballagh St. Heading out they speed up at Ballagh St. A lot of cars are no better!
    Then we have the Irrewillipe Road intersection – Very dodgy at times and with a school crossing only a little way past it, and all the traffic at the beginning and end of the school day it’s a disaster waiting to happen.
    The log trucks shouldn’t be travelling along there, there alone bringing in more trucks.
    One question though – what other streets would they trucks be travelling along to get to Irrewillipe road? Up Queen, along Harris then down perhaps?
    Great idea – with school children having to walk on the side of the road in Queen street to get to and from the Secondary College and part of Queen Street being very narrow and hazardous when encountering a truck going the other way we really want more trucks on there.
    That would also mean TWO schools the trucks are going past.
    Vehicles also have a nasty habit of speeding in Queen Street – speeding trucks??? Great idea.

    Give it up. There is only one SAFE route for trucks through Colac. That is the Princes Highway. If it’s a little inconvenient for shopkeepers, if its a little noisy, surely that’s better than attending funerals for school children mown down by trucks.

  2. Bill

    Again this highlights the problems with council’s use of “consultants”. The consultants appear to be given the brief of developing a truck route; period. And so the issues of community values and the relevance of WHY seems to have gotten lost. In a sane world does it make any sense to reroute trucks away from Murray Street so as shops can have passing traffic but not trucks, meanwhile schools, residents, Beechy precinct and bike paths etc., have to deal with the heavy traffic? Shouldn’t council be taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture including the entire community rather than have the attitude we must have an alternate truck route regardless.

    In December when the Colac Herald interviewed Rob Small, he stated that “someone will always be upset by those proposals”, and today we have the Colac herald headlining the article with “Primary schools in trucks’ path”. No kidding, lots of people will be upset by that proposal.

    The bull dozer approach of saying there must be a truck alternative route forgets that businesses built themselves along Murray Street to get the passing trade. Now the rest of community is being asked to pay to give those businesses quieter streets. Yet the issues of parking go unaddressed. Maybe council needs to be looking at developing along Dennis St, Bromfield St and Rae St, providing nice shopping precincts with plenty of parking rather and leave Murray St as the main route is always has been. Business that chose to build on Murray Street chose to be there and that includes the passing trucks: primary schools away from that traffic should not have to suffer to benefit those few.

    Have the consultants been given the task of the larger picture of town planning, or has our rate payer money been spent there with blinders firmly attached?

    Oh, and it’s great to hear that someone has asked the “consultants” to consider a route adjacent to the train line; it’s a pity that wasn’t on their list of 8 they have already. Perhaps we can get them to add that as option 9, and a new option 10 which would be to look at the big picture, the costs and benefits and in doing so include greater town planning. “Primary schools in trucks’ path” is ridiculous and arrogant at best.

  3. Jessica cazaly

    This is THAT ridiculous, how can this even enter some peoples minds, seriously, my son started prep at this school this year and loves it, education is a lot more important than some ridiculous truck rd