On Wednesday night at a public meeting in Sanctuary Point, residents shared widespread concern summer holiday traffic will heighten the risk of a deadly crash at the Jervis Bay Road and Princes Highway intersection.
The South Coast Register understands NSW MPs will push for a swift fix to the dangerous intersection on the Princes Highway south of Nowra.
Knowing Jervis Bay and St Georges Basin locals have asked for a permanent fix, Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley advised about 300 residents at the public meeting this would not be feasible in time for Christmas, and that traffic lights and a changed speed zone would be the best short-term solution for the road.
“Coming up to Christmas, do you want to take your life into your hands again?” Mayor Findley said.
Considering the Princes Highway is a state road it is understood Kiama MP Gareth Ward and South Coast MP Shelley Hancock will urge the Roads and Maritime Services to devise a prompt, interim solution to prevent car accidents this summer.
Vincentia Matters president Liz Tooley said in October traffic lights were not the solution.
“That would be terrible, terrible for motorists on the highway,” she said.
“What we don’t want is a cheap, interim solution.”
However, all politicians in attendance did commit to banding together with opposing party representatives to work towards a long-term fix.
Commonwealth government representatives showed interest in the matter including Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis, who sent Shoalhaven Councillor Jo Gash to speak on her behalf, and Gilmore’s Labor Candidate Fiona Phillips – but despite the impending election neither have pledged funds to the road upgrade.
“The main stakeholders here are state and local governments,” Cr Gash said.
“...It is election time, there is no better time to ask for things.”
Given the opportunity to provide their view on the intersection, and publicly question politicians at the meeting, about 10 local residents spoke up.
Coastal Waters retirement village resident Patricia Todd said she is all for a temporary fix.
“I can’t see any issue with having traffic lights,” she said.
“There’s been a lot of oldies that tend to put their foot on the accelerator when they come to the end of JB Road instead of the brake and they end up on the other side of the road. I know people, personally, who have done that. I think the most important thing is a solution, a solution now.”
A South Coast driving instructor said turning right onto the Princes Highway from Jervis Bay Road was a precarious affair for learner drivers.
Basin resident Ian Shapcott, who works north of the intersection, and travels southbound on the highway to home, said he lived in constant fear he would not make it home to his family.
“It’s not the first car that comes out that I’m worried about, it’s the second one,” he said.
“If you’re saying there’s no politics involved, as an outsider looking in, I see a lot of politics in this. In the Basin area we had to wait so long for the pool, for the shopping centre, for the police station, so for God’s sake let’s fix this road, forget all the political things and fix it now because I’m sick of coming home and worrying about whether I’m going to get home.”