Tunbridge Street residents petition Shire of Augusta-Margaret River over traffic and safety concerns

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Tunbridge Street resident Ray Bauskis, with granddaughter Locklyn, 3, has led a petition to the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River.
Camera IconTunbridge Street resident Ray Bauskis, with granddaughter Locklyn, 3, has led a petition to the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River. Credit: Warren Hately/Augusta-Margaret R/Augusta-Margaret River Times

Residents have petitioned the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River to intervene in traffic concerns on busy Tunbridge Street, fearing lives are now at risk.

Tunbridge resident Ray Bauskis lodged the petition with the council last week due to concerns the unsignposted street was seeing an uptick in hectic drivers at the same time more people were moving into the area.

Mr Bauskis said the safety of children in particular were his greatest concern.

“Someone is going to get seriously hurt, if not lose their life, which would be very sad,” he said.

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“For the safety of children, we believe this is an urgent matter which needs addressing immediately.

“We need a permanent solution to this problem because Tunbridge Street is only going to get more busy.”

The petition was signed by 34 people and conveyed nearby residents’ desires to see the speed reduced on the Shire-controlled road.

Mr Bauskis said there were more children living on the street than in the past as the area had attracted an influx of families.

“There have been near misses involving young children and oncoming traffic,” he told councillors last week.

“It’s a rat run. There’s a lot of people using Tunbridge compared to seven years ago. It’s a real concern.”

The concerns were similar to those reported by the Times earlier this year involving residents on Willmott Avenue concerned the route had become a “drag strip”.

Margaret River man Tim Hartnett petitioned the Shire and local police to investigate the rise of hooning amid concerns people moving to the region didn’t fully appreciate the town centre was more relaxed than metropolitan areas.

Mr Hartnett said it was hard to gauge yet whether warnings from police, including a mobile trailer, had allayed speed concerns.

“I’m hoping that the protests reach a critical mass and that the tolerance of, and attitudes towards speeding and excessive traffic, are changing for the sake of increased liveability in the township,” he said.

Margaret River police officer-in-charge Sergeant Simone Taplin said twice the amount of speeding fines were handed out by officers this year.

She said police were concerned about the acceptance of poor driving behaviour within the community.

The Times understands the Willmott Avenue concerns would be investigated further as part of the Shire’s partnership with the RAC on its Safer Speeds trial project.

In accepting the petition, councillors asked the chief executive to produce a report looking at options for improved traffic management for Tunbridge Street.

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