Council’s successful push for safer school crossing
Monday, 22 May 2017
The Beauchamp Street school zone at Marrickville West Public School will soon have flashing lights after successful advocacy by Inner West Council and local member Jo Haylen.
Inner West Council and Member for Summer Hill Jo Haylen MP both urged the State Government to upgrade the Beauchamp Street school zone lights.
Administrator Richard Pearson said that it was another example of Council using its stronger voice to successfully lobby the State Government.
“Safety within the existing school zone would be greatly improved with these extra lights,” he said.
“We made the Minister for Roads Melinda Pavey aware that our traffic reviews showed that the crossing was unsafe, and that the situation was getting worse,” said Mr Pearson.
“I’m very happy to report that the new Minister has heeded our words and we have just received notification that the new set of flashing lights will be installed in early June.”
Ms Haylen said that it was a rare community win.
“It will make a huge difference in making the walk to and from school safer for our kids,” she said. “The school has been fighting for over a decade to improve safety at the crossing and hundreds and hundreds of people signed my petition in support of it.”
Mr Pearson said that he agreed to take up the cause when Ms Haylen notified Council that her request for an upgrade for Marrickville West Public School lights had not been approved.
“We wrote immediately to the then Minister for Roads Duncan Gay, telling him we strongly supported the school’s application for a second set of lights and urging him to reconsider,” he said. "We also met with representatives from the school including Principal Ruth Bradfield-Ling and P&C President Lindy Alwis and heard from them how the upgrade would make their students safer.”
With the appointment of a new Roads Minister Melinda Pavey, Council again pushed for the upgrade, receiving notification on 18 May that the work will now go ahead.
Mr Pearson said that he was glad to have worked with Ms Haylen and her office for such a great outcome.
“I’d like to thank and acknowledge the work of Ms Haylen and I’m glad that our perseverance has paid off for the community,” he said. “The fact that we are a larger and more influential Council has made our lobbying efforts more effective.”
The NSW Government is funding upgrades to school zones under the NSW School Zone Flashing Lights program to improve student safety. Residents in the area will receive formal notification of the work from 1 June.