Intersection “nightmare”

BUSINESS owners and employees in Gawler Green Shopping Centre have added their voices to the chorus of locals calling for upgrades to the nearby Tulloch Road/Main North Road intersection.

Upgrading the intersection is currently the subject of an online petition – led by Member for Light Tony Piccolo, who has made the junction a central issue of his election campaign, so far – with over 1000 people already signing it.

The Bunyip spoke to five Gawler Green shopping centre businesses about the intersection – with this past week being the one-year anniversary of the opening of Aldi supermarket – who agreed it was “a nightmare” for traffic.

Massive Joe’s owner Matt Watkins said the store has been in the complex since it opened in 2014, and he’s seen the issue progressively get worse since then, particularly as new shopping outlets opened up in the precinct.

“It’s at the point where, even at certain times of the day, I’ll stay behind later because, trying to turn at the intersection, you’re better off staying behind finishing up some work than trying to sit in the car for 10 minutes, waiting to turn,” he said.

“We’ve heard from people who sometimes won’t come at a certain time, or if they have to stop in and try to grab something quickly, they’ll plan to come at certain times, because it can be difficult.”

Mr Watkins said it didn’t matter if the intersection was upgraded to include a roundabout or traffic lights, as long as something was done – a view echoed by Mystic Earth’s Trephina Lathwell.

“I don’t think it matters which one (is introduced), just anything’s better than what’s there,” she said.

Crestline Meats employee Steve Dunne suggested turning Barnet Road into a two-way street, to allow traffic to return out into Main North Road.

The move is being investigated by Gawler Council, which is in discussions with the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure about how to alleviate the traffic issues.

All the businesses agreed school drop-off and pick-up times were the busiest hours of the day for the intersection.

Gawler Chicken Shop owner Tony Alssi, whose shop directly faces the intersection, said he sees accidents, or near-accidents, occur at the intersection once every two to three weeks.

According to the Traffic Accident Reporting System, there were six crashes recorded at the intersection in 2016 (five right-angle crashes, and one rear-end crash), the same amount as in the two previous years.

There were only two casualty crashes at the intersection between 2007 and ’13, compared to four between 2014 and ’16.

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Matteo Gagliardi joined The Bunyip in August 2016 with almost two years experience in regional print media, having previously worked at a community newspaper in Swan Hill, Victoria. Covering politics, local government and crime, Matteo likes to sink his teeth into hard-hitting issues, but also enjoys spending time getting to know the Gawler community. Matteo also has a passion for science, agriculture and the environment, and has previously worked as a media officer at the Australian Science Media Centre.

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