It is time to fix this intersection

Update 4:20pm 30 May 2017 - Statement from Police:

On Sunday 28 May 2017 a traffic crash occurred at 11:35am at intersection of North West Coast Highway and Hosken Streets in Bluff Point.

18 year old female driver (drving Suzuki Vitara) from Mount Tarcoola was stopped at the intersection preparing to make a right turn. The other vehicle (Toyota Hilux) was being driven by 28 year old female driver from Waggrakine, travelling in the left turning lane to turn off the highway into Hoskin Street.

The Vitara proceeded into the intersection crossing and collided with the Hilux. As a result the Vitara crossed the lanes, mounted the kerb and collided with a street sign before coming to rest off the road. 

Both vehicles have extensive damage as a result of the impact.

The 18 year old was extracted by FESA and  conveyed to Geraldton Regional Hospital for treatment to her legs after being injured during the crash.  

Driver of the Vitara has been charged with:

(1)    Fail to give way to oncoming vehicle or pedestrian on terminating road or near intersection

Note: The footage below seems to contradict the statement from the Police that the Hilux intended on turning left. We have asked for clarification.

As you may have heard, there was yet another car accident at the Hosken St / North West Coastal Highway intersection in the Geraldton suburb of Bluff Point on Sunday. 

Footage of the incident

Editor's note: While we're mindful of the general distaste for images of car accidents felt by much of the community, given the widespread calls for safety improvements at this intersection for many years, and in the interest of bringing attention to the problem, we have decided to publish this footage that was provided to us. 

Members of the Geraldton community shared information regarding the incident. 

Everything Geraldton has also contacted the Geraldton Police regarding the incident.

Why hasn't this intersection been fixed yet?

In September last year EG published a short article on this intersection following a near miss that could have ended badly. Click here to read.

Responding to that article, MLA Ian Blayney, the member for Geraldton in state parliament, wrote:

"I've been working on this for a while. Main Roads are ready to start on it, but have been held up because the City want to consider a new intersection at Mitchell St/ NWCHwy. If this happens, Main Roads will have to reconsider what they do at Hosken St. I have been working on it, the solution is ready, funds are in place."

Everything Geraldton spoke with Mr Blayney today regarding the intersection. While his party is no longer in government, Mr Blayney is still the member for Geraldton. Mr Blayney reiterated his comments from last year, confirming that hold-ups to the improvements were because of pending decisions regarding developments on the Spalding side of the highway. 

What is the new government doing?

Darren West, MLC for the Agricultural Region sent Everything Geraldton a Letter to the Editor in September 2016 regarding the known danger the road posed, and his efforts to get the problem addressed. Click here to read. In the article he asserted that the intersection "was listed in the RAC’s Risky Roads Survey, October 2015 Report Card at number two for dangerous intersections in Regional WA." The letter also included references to a 2014 Geraldton Guardian article on the intersection. Mr West is referenced in the article as campaigning for improvements for the intersection. 

Now that Labor has formed government, Everything Geraldton contacted Darren West to discuss the intersection. 

"I was pleading with previous government. Now we're in government it's a priority to get it fixed. We will be instructing Main Roads (to improve the intersection) and looking at the most cost effective way at remediating and making that intersection safer."

Mr West floated the idea of possibly lowering the speed limit for parts of the day, similar to what has been done on some Perth roads. 

"I'd really like this time next year to have this intersection sorted out, with whatever treatment is cost effective."


Where does the City of Greater Geraldton stand?

Everything Geraldton also contacted the City of Greater Geraldton. We spoke with Mayor Shane Van Styn about the intersection. 

Mayor Van Styn emphasised that the intersection in question was the responsibility of the state government. He mentioned the CGG's ongoing campaign to have Main Roads open up the Mitchell Street intersection, with traffic lights, and granting better access to Spalding. 

"The City has a position that for the safety of both traffic and pedestrian, opening up Mitchell St (should be a priority). But the road is a state road, and is an entire matter for the state government."

He also expressed concerns should a roundabout be installed at Hosken Street, and the consequences of trucks trying to use it. 

"They need to look at the area holistically," says Van Styn. "If they were serious about fixing the traffic on NWCH they’d get on with building the inner bypass, which Ian Blayney opposes. We’d divert heavy traffic from as far back as Rudds Gully Rd, connecting to an extended Webberton Road."

"Too often state governments apply bandaid solutions to North West Coastal Highway instead of getting on with the job of building the inner bypass."

Mr Van Styn spoke about the CGG's efforts to try and revitalise Spalding. "The bigger picture with Spalding is it's hard to get in and out of. We see Mitchell St as a bigger part of urban planning." 

I questioned whether the inner bypass or lights at Mitchell Street would do anything to fix the issues at Hosken St, such as the blind spots created by cars turning left from NWCH onto Hosken. "You could ban right hand turns at Hosken St (onto NWCH). You can't go straight there anyway. If you signalised Mitchell St and banned right turns at Hosken, that solves the problem."

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Jason Smith

Jason is the author of Everything Perth. He’s also a law student, small business owner, husband, and father of three boys.