Cyclist safety brought into question

THE City of Orange Traffic Committee will be asked to revisit installing signage warning motorists of cyclists along popular bicycle routes after they knocked the idea back. 

The request from councillors at Tuesday’s Orange City Council meeting was one of three as part of a continued attack on the committee. 

Technical services director Ian Greenham said the example signage in the committee agenda was from Tasmania and would not be consistent with other signage across the state.

“There has been some use of putting it on the backs of buses as part of an education campaign,” he said.

However, councillor Stephen Nugent said the signage was still needed.

“I can see there would be a real benefit to having that sort of signage out toward the airport where a lot of the antagonism between cyclists and motorists seems to occur, where you’re not going to get buses,” he said. 

However, councillor Jason Hamling said there was already cyclist warning signage in Bathurst. 

“Why can’t we go along those lines?” he said.

“I don’t understand why it has to be such a difficult issue.”

The committee will also be asked to review speeding along Hill Street north of Matthews Avenue, and non-voting membership.

Councillor Kevin Duffy said guidelines governing traffic committee membership allowed ambulance and fire personnel, the council’s road safety officer, Transport for NSW, bus and taxi operators and chambers of commerce to be non-voting members.

The traffic committee had voted against allowing those non-voting members, despite a request from councillors in February. 

Mayor Reg Kidd said he disagreed with the limited membership – voting members include the council, NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), police and state and federal MPs.

“You only have to have one or two of those persons away and you’ve got the RMS making the decisions,” he said. 

He said invitations to other groups to address the committee had not been forthcoming when they could make a valuable contribution to traffic decisions. 

Councillor Jeff Whitton suggested the council create another traffic committee and invite members if their request was rejected again.

“Let them put forward the motions to these gentlemen in this statutory committee,” he said. 

“Bathurst have their own traffic committee.”