Calls for traffic lights at Fern Bay grow louder as area expands

PETITION: Fern Bay association president Eddie Horn believes traffic lights are needed for safety reasons at the intersection of Nelson Bay and Vardon roads at Fern Bay.
PETITION: Fern Bay association president Eddie Horn believes traffic lights are needed for safety reasons at the intersection of Nelson Bay and Vardon roads at Fern Bay.

Fern Bay's growing population and the increasing use of Nelson Bay Road by new residents, the elderly and children has prompted concerned locals to push for the installation of the area's first set of traffic lights.

To expedite the process, the Fern Bay/Fullerton Cove Progress Association has set up a petition, supported by State MP Tim Crakanthorp, to present to the state government with a view to having traffic lights installed at the busy intersection of Nelson Bay Road and Vardon Road.

Association chairperson Eddie Horn said that they were aiming to collect 500 signatures by September 28. To date they have in excess of 160.

"We are very concerned about the dangers to Vardon Road residents and users of the school, community hall, childcare centre and golf course, especially when exiting Vardon Road to turn right onto Nelson Bay Road. Traffic lights are the only safe option," he said.

Mr Horn said that Fern Bay had experienced a huge population explosion in recent years with the developments of seniors living and the growth of the local primary school and childcare centre.

"The timing is right. Located on Vardon Road are Fern Bay Public School, which is growing in enrolments year by year, Fern Bay Community Centre, which is used most days, Tillys Play and Development centre, offering approximately 95 places, and the popular Newcastle Golf Course.

"There are seniors living developments at nearby Palm Lake Resort (250 homes), Bayway Village (in excess of 490 homes) and The Cove. Also nearby is the ever growing Seaside Estate, while Defence Housing has submitted a planning proposal for a housing development at the old Stockton rifle range site in nearby Popplewell Road."

Mr Horn said that it had become increasingly difficult for motorists entering and exiting Vardon Road, as well as pedestrians wanting to cross Nelson Bay Road, particularly during the morning and afternoon peak times.

"Traffic lights and a pedestrian crossing at the Vardon Road intersection would be the only safe alternative. We want to be proactive by having traffic lights installed before there are accidents."

He said that the traffic lights had the support of Port Stephens Council and Mr Crakanthorp, who this week said that he was very happy to back the petition.

"Fern Bay is growing at a phenomenal rate and it's really important to get the infrastructure in before it gets even bigger. It's not hard to see that Nelson Bay Road is only going to get busier, and safety needs to be a priority," Mr Crakanthorp said.

Eddie Horn at the intersection of Nelson Bay Road and Vardon Road, Fern Bay.

Eddie Horn at the intersection of Nelson Bay Road and Vardon Road, Fern Bay.

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