AN attempt to install traffic lights at James Sheahan Catholic High School has failed after councillors voted the idea down.
Councillor Scott Munro put forward a motion to investigate the proposal at Tuesday’s Orange City Council meeting, but staff said the lights would cost $246,000 to build and maintain.
According to the report, the intersection of Anson and Tynan streets did not meet NSW Roads and Maritime Services RMS guidelines.
Instead, the report suggested kerb blisters, a median pedestrian refuge and extending the existing school hours clearway opposite the school to the north to improve traffic flow.
“It’s a critical control point, I would like to see if we can talk to the RMS about doing something about the $80,000 for the 10-year maintenance contribution,” Cr Munro said.
“James Sheahan is a growing school, we have a massive amount of traffic going along that road and I know there was a child nearly hit by a van there before Christmas and there’s been near misses at different times during the year – [to argue that] one child’s life isn’t worth $246,000, I say yes it is.”
Cr Munro argued traffic lights would make the right of way clear to pedestrians and motorists, and cars would have to stop for students when directed.
However, mayor Reg Kidd said he agreed with the staff recommendation to continue to work with the RMS.
“I think the arguments just put up could be put up for every single school in Orange and lights don’t always [change behaviour],” he said.
Deputy mayor Joanne McRae noted Anson Street School was the only one currently with traffic lights and not located on the highway.
“That school has premises on both sides of the road, which would require safe access,” she said.
Councillor Kevin Duffy said he had never witnessed a near miss on his bus route.
Technical services director Ian Greenham said the road would eventually qualify once the southern feeder road was built and south Orange was developed.
“The RMS aren’t saying no, not ever, but they’re certainly saying there needs to be certain warrants before they’ll support it,” he said.
However, Cr Munro was undeterred, saying it kept the conversation about the issue going.