Gunnedah’s Local Traffic Advisory Committee has recommended new line marking and more police patrols be implemented on Blue Vale Road after reports of near-misses with oncoming traffic.

It followed a request from Whitehaven Coal that centre line marking be reviewed or least redefined where faded on the road.

The mining company, which is one of the main users of the route linking the Gunnedah Coal Handling and Preparation Plant and its mine sites to the north, also requested NSW Police patrol the area between 6am and 9pm but especially around shift change 4pm to 5.30pm.

The traffic committee supported a design review of the line marking on Blue Vale Road and that a new line marking plan be brought to council for review and endorsement.

It also recommended NSW Police note and consider the request to patrol the road, that traffic counters be installed to record vehicle speed and the relevant results be referred to a future traffic committee meeting.

Adjustments to Blue Vale Road was one of 15 recommendations listed by the committee at Gunnedah Shire Council’s June ordinary meeting.

Another involved the operation of Cohen’s Bridge.

The committee’s report detailed how a visitor to Gunnedah, who was in a queue of traffic on Cohen’s Bridge, was forced to reverse due to an oncoming wide load. This was despite the presence of signage indicating “narrow bridge ahead” on both approaches. 

As the bridge is a Transport for NSW-owned asset, the committee recommended the matter to be referred to the TfNSW bridge team to review the approaches to ensure the correct measures are in place. Feedback will be provided at a future traffic committee meeting.

In a separate issue in town, it was reported that traffic accessing the loading docks behind the Discount Drug Store in Little Conadilly Street was periodically blocking access to the pharmacy’s rear entrance, delaying pick-ups and exits for delivery of medical supplies.

The traffic committee recommended that council undertake a design to accommodate both the loading dock and pharmacy entrance. Council estimated this would result in the loss of about 6-8 car parking spaces. A design will be prepared for council’s consideration before approval.

On other issues raised to the traffic committee it was determined that no immediate action was required – instead a “watch and review” position would be adopted and revisited should further correspondence be received. These matters included a report about excessive noise generated by trucks on Bloomfield Street – Gunnedah’s dedicated heavy vehicle bypass. The report to council suggested “limit braking compression” signage be installed.

Another concern about a near miss with a vehicle at a Conadilly Street pedestrian crossing due to brick walls obscuring approaching pedestrians was also referred to the committee as well as a right-of-way conflict at the corner of South and Carroll streets. The resident was worried that Carroll Street traffic was ignoring the give way signage when turning on to South Street. The suggestion was to install give way signs at the intersection on both approaches to South Street, giving full right of way to traffic emerging from Carroll Street.

According to council’s June business paper, the Gunnedah Local Traffic Committee features four formal members including a representative from council, the police, Roads and Maritime Services and the local state member of parliament or their nominee. It is an advisory body only, having no decision making powers and is primarily a technical review committee to advise the council on traffic-related matters. 

Transport for NSW is legislated as the organisation responsible for the control of traffic on all roads in NSW.

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