A pedestrian crossing will be installed along Benjamin Lee Drive within the next 12 months to combat pedestrian safety concerns.
Port Stephens Council was due to construct a raised pedestrian crossing along the busy Raymond Terrace road early in 2016.
It came after Raymond Terrace Tim Davies raised the issue with Port Stephens MP Kate Washington in November 2015 after seeing a Grahamstown Public School student almost hit by a car when crossing the road.
Mr Davies has three small children who attend the school. He and said he was “frustrated” that there was no safety measures in place.
“There are no flashing lights on Benjamin Lee Drive to alert motorist of the school zone or any crossings,” he said.
“Will it take a serious injury or fatality to highlight how important this issue is?”
Ms Washington wrote to Rob Farley, the director of Public Schools NSW, about these concerns.
In a reply letter seen by Fairfax Media, dated December 2015, Mr Farley said Port Stephens Council’s traffic committee had approved the construction of a raised pedestrian crossing in Benjamin Lee Drive, near the child care centre, to “further enhance the safety of the school children crossing at this location”.
However, this did not happen.
“There was not sufficient funding at the time, so council instead began applying for external funding to construct the crossing,” Rick Mackenzie, the council’s civil projects engineer, said.
“Council has recently secured additional funds through the NSW Government’s Pedestrian Infrastructure Safety Around Schools Program to construct the crossing this financial year (2017-2018).
“Construction will be timed to coincide with school holidays to minimise disruption to the children and parents who use this road.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Education said there had been “no particular concerns” about safety raised with Grahamstown Public School recently.
“While the Department of Education and Grahamstown Public School can make representations about ideas that may improve the safety of students’ journey to and from school, decisions will be made by council, Roads and Maritime and police who have specialist knowledge and jurisdiction over roads and associated facilities,” the spokesperson said.
“The school regularly reminds students about safe practices when travelling to and from school.”