Manildra Street residents fed up with heavy vehicle traffic through town, poll

CHANGE: Manildra Street residents Sybil Adams, Joy and Arnold Gillespie, Ruth Carney, Kylie Thiel and Anthony Moses are petitioning for change. Photo: ORLANDER RUMING
CHANGE: Manildra Street residents Sybil Adams, Joy and Arnold Gillespie, Ruth Carney, Kylie Thiel and Anthony Moses are petitioning for change. Photo: ORLANDER RUMING

Residents on Manildra Street say they are fed up with the increasing number of trucks in the area. 

More than 60 people have signed a petition calling for something to be done to reduce the north-south freight liners travelling through town. 

Spokespersons for Manildra Street, Sybil Adams and Anthony Moses, who have both lived on the street for almost 40 years, said trucks began using the Tomingley to Eumungrie road about three years ago to avoid the congestion in Dubbo.

They said while they could cope with trucks travelling east-west, the increase of interstate freight liners travelling north-south was unbearable and are now calling on the Narromine Shire Council to create a bypass around the town.

"It seems Dubbo's problem is being dumped on Narromine," Ms Adams said. 

"East-west [trucks] are going to come through and we've put up with them, they're not too bad. But when you've got this huge increase of the north-south trucks, there's such a problem," Mr Moses said. 

The main concerns for those living in the area is the safety threat to pedestrians and schools. 

"The safety issue is horrendous," Ms Adams said.

Ms Adams, who has visibly recorded the volume of heavy vehicle traffic said in one day within one hour 27 interstate trucks passed her house and said there had been two near misses near the Christian School and almost two fatalities in the last quarter of last year.

"St Augustine's has to cross the road, the high school has to cross the road for sporting facilities, the Christian School are copping it all the time while parents are unloading in the school area," Ms Adams said.

"I've seen trucks within a meter of leisure walkers heading down to Rotary park.

"It's a safety issue waiting to explode, and it nearly did when we had the two near fatalities last year."

"The more trucks we have the more chances of fatality increases dramatically," Mr Moses added.

"This street isn't designed for trucks to go straight through because it's full of bends, there's also the chance of a truck driver falling asleep, it's just an added risk."

Ms Adams and Mr Moses said the Narromine Shire Council were presented the petition agreeing they were aware of the situation, but now residents want to know what's going to be done about it. 

The petition started by residents in Manildra Street.

The petition started by residents in Manildra Street.

"They haven't tried putting any pressure on politicians or the Dubbo politicians to help with the bypass in Dubbo. There's been no political sway by Narromine Shire Council to push in that direction," Mr Moses said. 

The push for a ring road around Dubbo was reignited by Dubbo Regional Council's Mayor Ben Shields in early 2018 with suggestions that the road would take traffic from near Taronga Western Plains Zoo to the airport and then Purvis Lane.

While Narromine Shire Mayor Craig Davies said a bypass in Dubbo will be "outrageously expensive", he assured the council are looking at alternative initiatives to minimise disruption.

"There is nothing that they have raised that we don't agree with them on. Every objection they have is valid," Cr Davies said.

"We are certainly taking their concerns very seriously and will do everything we can to make sure that we can help them as much as possible.

"Given that the cost of a bypass is likely to be expensive as suggested by RMS ... the likelihood is that we will naturally get more trucks through Narromine.

"We are looking at different possibilities as to how best we can funnel that extra traffic out of town.

"We are not necessarily in favour or against a bypass for Dubbo, it is highly unlikely in our lifetime for that to happen and that's the professional understanding we've been given."

Funding was made to the Narromine Shire Council in July last year for a scoping study into the upgrade of the Tomingley to Eumungerie road.

However comments made by Member for Dubbo Troy Grant suggested the upgrading this road would create a natural bypass of Dubbo, which has sparked debate among residents. 

“Not all heavy vehicles travelling the length of the Newell need to stop in Dubbo, this upgrade has the potential to move some of this heavy traffic away from Dubbo, without the significant cost of constructing a new ring road elsewhere also avoiding costly and lengthy land acquisition processes and disruption to lives and livelihoods.” Mr Grant said. 

The spokespersons said more petitions were coming from those living on Culling and Algalah Street and from the schools in the area.