The chances of a Budget announcement in favour of traffic lights at the intersection of Hillsborough Road and Chadwick Street, Hillsborough would appear fairly remote judging by the reaction by the State Government to a question from LakeMac Today.
When we were advised late last week that the Shadow Minister for Road and Maritime Services, Ms Jodi McKay was visiting the site, along with Charlestown MP Jodi Harrison, to meet with residents, we contacted the office of the Minister for Roads to obtain an objective opinion from the relevant Government Department.
The reply to our request for a direct answer to the prospect of lights being installed any time soon, was wishy, washy, to say least.
We asked directly ‘Is there likely to be a Budget announcement in the affirmative regarding the funding of traffic lights at the intersection of Hillsborough Road and Chadwick Street’.
A Roads and Maritime Services spokesperson replied:
‘Roads and Maritime Services is currently investigating options for safety and capacity improvements along the Hillsborough Road corridor between Macquarie Road/King Street and the Newcastle Inner City Bypass, including at the intersections of Crockett and Chadwick streets.
The mid-block pedestrian lights to the east of the Hillsborough Road intersection with King Street and Macquarie Road at Warners Bay will be tested next week and are expected to be fully operational by the end of the month.’
For some reason the Minister’s office ignored the direct request for an answer to our question and so residents of Hillsborough again seem to be in limbo despite the intersection being an integral component of the Lake Macquarie Transport Study.
Hillsborough Community Leader, Michael Nolan told us last week that the Roads Minister “continues to ignore the fact that Hillsborough residents have signed petitions and postcards, in a desperate plea to fix the dangerous and time-consuming intersection.”
Reading between the lines, those pleas will again go unanswered when the State Budget is handed down next Tuesday.
Ms McKay said at Thursday’s meeting that it was now time for the Government to come to the party and commit serious dollars to pay for the works recommended in the Transport Study.