A WIMMERA man believes a roundabout at the Wimmera River bridges on the Western Highway in Horsham is the biggest ‘blackspot’ between the city and Melbourne.
The roundabout has been out of action during bridge upgrades, which started in June last year.
The major upgrades were completed last week.
Neville McIntyre, of McKenzie Creek, said following the completion of bridge work, the roundabout would open again.
But he called for the roundabout to be closed permanently.
“We’ve had six months of freedom with the roundabout being blocked,” he said.
Mr McIntyre said before the bridge work, he had nearly had two accidents at the roundabout while driving a truck.
He said he would like to see a stop sign at the roundabout for traffic entering from McPherson Street and turning into O’Callaghan Parade.
Mr McIntyre said with no stop sign, it was only a matter of time before an incident occurred.
“A stop sign is needed at the very least so those turning must stop,” he said.
“That’s the biggest blackspot in town, especially for Adelaide traffic.”
Mr McIntyre approached Horsham Rural City Council with his concerns on Friday.
Technical services director John Martin said council had discussed the roundabout with VicRoads based on informal community comments.
He said VicRoads was in charge of the roundabout and would decide its future.
VicRoads regional director Ewen Nevett said there were no plans to remove the roundabout.
“A roundabout is the safest form of intersection and by its inherent nature acts as a traffic calming device, reducing speed and minimising crash risk,” he said.
“The right turn movement into O’Callghan Parade from McPherson Street at the roundabout was temporarily removed as part of works to upgrade the Wimmera River bridges.
“VicRoads investigated if the right turn movement should be permanently removed, but a road safety audit found the roundabout is safer with the right turn movement in place.”
Mr Nevett said Victoria Police crash statistics from the past five years to the end of June 2013 showed there had been one crash at the intersection.
He said the crash did not involve a right-turn movement.
“An extremely small number of vehicles turn right into O’Callaghan Parade from McPherson Street, which is why it is considered a minimal safety risk compared with other feasible options,” he said.
“If the right turn was removed, the possibility of referred risk at other intersections that are not considered as safe as a roundabout could increase.
“Removing the roundabout altogether would increase the risk of vehicles speeding through the intersection.”
Mr Nevett said VicRoads still had minor works to complete at the bridges, including clean-up, line-marking and footpath surface treatment.
He expected the works to cause little disruption to traffic.