After the death of a 29-year-old woman, her unborn child and 10-year-old daughter in an accident at the Gocup Road intersection, Wagga MP Dr Joe McGirr has called for a greater focus on improvements to the road and has been promised more will be done.
During Question Time on Tuesday, June 2, Dr McGirr asked the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads to ensure the government would “get done the substantial extra work needed to fix this death trap”.
Dr McGirr pointed to numerous community complaints about the intersection, spanning decades, with many locals saying the intersection has been the cause of too many near misses and would undoubtedly result in the loss of life one day.
In response, the Minister for Regional Roads Paul Toole said Tuesday that he had referred the intersection’s review to Transport for NSW Centre for Road Safety as a matter of urgency.
“The Minister has given a directive for Transport to review the planned upgrades at that intersection, to examine its approaches and to identify any additional measures that could be put in place to make it safe,” Dr McGirr said.
“Mr Toole said the review would be conducted as quickly as possible, to outline the best approach possible to keep the community safe.”
Dr McGirr said he welcomed the Minister’s reply and would monitor progress closely.
While the intersection is reviewed, Minister Toole said upgrades to Gocup Road would continue.
As of Thursday, a $3 million section of work, widening and repaving Gocup Road immediately north of the Snowy Mountains Highway was underway.
Traffic is restricted in every direction, with traffic controllers allowing lanes of traffic through the intersection, one direction at a time.
Planning documents for the current project were compiled in 2015, identifying 21 crashes which occurred on Gocup Road between Minjary Creek and the Hume Highway from 2010 to 2015. None of those accidents were fatal, but three involved serious injuries.
At that time, estimated daily traffic volume for the Gocup Road 2km north of the Snowy Mountains Highway was 1672 vehicles per day, with heavy vehicles making up close to 25 percent of the traffic on weekdays. Half to three-quarters of those heavy vehicles were articulated or combination vehicles.
Hourly daytime traffic was estimated to peak at 100 to 150 vehicles per hour.
“We will never stand still on road safety,” Mr Toole said, acknowledging the community’s sentiment that there hasn’t been enough attention on the deadly intersection.
“Road by road, we are investing in measures to make our roads safer to save lives on country roads. These upgrades—rumble strips, wire barriers, sealing roads and upgrading intersections—are small changes that have a huge impact on our regional communities.”