Political roundabout

By Michael Roberts | posted on September 17, 2020

POLITICAL hopeful Scott Leary says he will push for a roundabout to be built at the intersection of Sanford and North roads if elected to State Parliament in March.

Mr Leary, who is running as the Liberal candidate for the Seat of Albany in next year’s State Election, said he was concerned about driver safety at the turn off during peak hour traffic.

“First thing in the morning it’s crazy,” he said.

“The potential for harm is great. A lot of people don’t use the slip lane.”

The Albany City Motors Director said locals avoided the contentious intersection because it was dangerous.

“It’s a known hot spot. We avoid this intersection because of the risk involved,” he said.

Latest crash data from Main Roads shows eight reported crashes in a five-year period to 31 December 2019.

Main Roads told the Weekender North Road is used by 16,000 vehicles per day.

While the City of Albany is planning to reconstruct Sanford Road this financial year to improve driveability and traffic flow, a roundabout at the North Road intersection is still some time away.

Under a long-term financial plan, City Infrastructure Director Paul Camins said an ‘intersection treatment’ would be built in about five years.

“An intersection treatment has been identified in the Yakamia Structure Plan at the intersection of North Road and Sanford Road and is incorporated in our long-term financial plan,” he said.

“This treatment would likely be a roundabout and facilitate access to the proposed Range Road expansion of the road network, but would also allow more free-flowing traffic movements at the existing intersection.”

If elected to the Seat of Albany next year, Mr Leary said he would push for funding from Federal, State and Local governments to get a roundabout built sooner rather than later.

“Long-term they are planning to build one here anyway, so why not bring it forward to keep everyone safe and have a functional road?” he said.

“It restricts customer flow for businesses up and down this road.”

Roundabouts have proved a hot topic in Albany during recent years, with the Chester Pass roundabout voted one of WA’s most dangerous intersections in a 2016 RAC survey.

Albany is one of the few major residential centres in WA without a set of traffic lights.

There are approximately 50 roundabouts in Albany, according to Main Roads.

Mr Leary, who will face off against Labor candidate Rebecca Stephens and Nationals candidate Delma Baesjou at a March vote, said he didn’t support building traffic lights in Albany.

“I think roundabouts work here,” he said.