Fatal intersection at Valla questioned by Nambucca Valley Council

In recent months, give-way signs on the slip-roads have been installed at three Nambucca Valley T-intersections, prompting questions from locals.

THE Valla Beach Road and Giinagay Way T-intersection was up for discussion at Nambucca Valley Council’s 25 June meeting, with councillors concluding the dangerous section of road is confusing and in need of urgent action.

Ms Carole Anderson and Ms Melissa Hilson addressed the Council meeting representing the 486 signatories of a petition for urgent action on the intersection, delivered to the Department of Transport in April this year and the Valla Beach Community Association.

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According to both speakers, this is a dangerous T-intersection featuring slip-roads with give-way signs, a 90 km/hr speed limit and poor visibility on all sides.

In her submission to the meeting, Mayor Hoban questioned the application of NSW traffic rule 72, which applies to vehicles on the right or turning right at crossroads, and has been cited by police in explaining current rules governing traffic at the T-intersection.

T-intersections appear to be covered by traffic rule 73.

“It is understood that Transport for NSW and Police are applying Section 72 (4) which refers to slip lanes.

“However, the Section 72 heading and introduction specifically states that the entire regulation does not apply to T-intersections or roundabouts,” Mayor Hoban told Council, seeking clarification from staff.

Council’s Director of Engineering responded that regardless which traffic rule applied to the Giinagay Way/Valla Beach Road intersection, the current road rules require that all vehicles turning left in a slip lane give way to all other vehicles and pedestrians.

In 2023, three of the Nambucca Valley’s intersections, including the one in question, had give-way signs installed with many locals finding their placement confusing and dangerous.

“I have witnessed numerous occasions where the vehicle turning right off the through road isn’t aware that the vehicle in the slip lane must give way to them and they ended up in a stand-off,” said Ms Hilson.

“It’s unusual treatment for this type of T-intersection,” she said, comparing this intersection to others across NSW.

Ms Anderson explained the group’s frustration with finding out about the time and place of regular meetings of the Nambucca Valley Road Safety Committee, comprising representatives from Police, Transport for NSW, Nambucca Valley Council and the office of Oxley State MP Michael Kemp.

They had been told one was scheduled for 4 June but this did not go ahead and the group has been unable to determine details of the next meeting.

She detailed meeting with a representative from Transport for NSW twice, who agreed that changes would be made but so far, nothing appears to have been done.

Ms Hilson also described frustrations with emails and responses regarding the situation between herself and Transport for NSW representatives.

“We have tried to be nice and say the right things and be courteous or whatever but not hearing from anyone, hence we are here,” Ms Anderson said.

Ms Anderson also said she had suggested that lowering the speed limit for drivers on Giinagay Way in this section, from 90 to 60 km/hr, would make the intersection safer but the representative from Transport for NSW had told her this was not a possibility.

Council resolved to write to Transport for NSW seeking clarification on the use of rule 72 at the intersection and requesting action regarding residents’ safety concerns.

If favourable advice is not received within one month, the Council resolved to seek legal opinion on the application of rule 72 at T-intersections.


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