Fearing a fatality

LOCAL residents fear a road fatality at the intersection of Port Wakefield and Ryan Road, near Virginia, is inevitable before action to improve the crossing occurs.

Residents of nearby The Palms Residential Park have been campaigning for years to improve visibility and lower speeds at the intersection but to no avail.

The Palms Residential Park Residents’ Association vice chairman, Chris Sloper believes it is only a matter of time before a fatal accident occurs at the intersection.

“People miss the signage (coming north off the North-South Motorway), and they are already speeding,” Chris said.

“There are two to three prangs a week at this intersection.

“Sooner or later someone is going to die.”

The infamous Port Wakefield Road highway is a national freight route and roadway, and is currently a 90km stretch of road until a few hundred metres past Ryan Road (heading north), where it changes to 110km.

Keith and Liz Lovell moved from Golden Grove to retire at the park about 10 years ago.

They travel Port Wakefield Road on an almost daily basis and say the volume of traffic has increased dramatically since the North-South Motorway was completed.

“I’m on the road pretty much most days,” Liz said.

“They (drivers) speed up as they come off the bridge (and) the thing we’re concerned about is all the growth in the area, it’s just expanded, and there is so much more traffic than there used to be.”

City of Playford deputy mayor and councillor, Peter Rentoulis, believes the intersection has been a problem for some years, saying there had been more than a few serious accidents at the intersection.

Mr Rentoulis said he had written to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport asking for the speed signs to be pushed northwards but without any success.

“On each occasion, DIT has responded that they are not necessary because it’s a national highway carrying freight,” he said.

Cr Rentoulis said residents of the Palms Residential Park had raised concerns with him about increased traffic and high speeds at the intersection of Port Wakefield and Ryan Road.

“There are around 350 residents at the Palms Residential Park,” he said.

“Most of these people are aged 50 and above.

“The proposed changes to the speed limit will make the intersections much safer for all residents but in particular the elderly residents at The Palms.”

A Department for Infrastructure and Transport spokesperson said a review of the speed limit for the area had been undertaken in the past and “the existing speed limits are appropriate”.

The spokesperson stated with the installation of traffic lights further along Port Wakefield Road, at the intersection with Angle Vale Road (see separate story), further reviews were not out of the question.

“However, we will commit to investigating a further review once the intersection upgrade (at Angle Vale Road) is complete and traffic has normalised,” the spokesperson said.

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