Safety upgrades coming to Docklands Primary School

Safety upgrades coming to Docklands Primary School
Ellen Sandell

You may have heard that the roads around Docklands Primary School have recently been flagged for some important safety upgrades, thanks to the hard work of local parents and staff working together with my office.

While we’re all so happy to have students back at school after a very disrupted 2021, actually getting to and from school presents some unique challenges for Docklands and West Melbourne families. When the Victorian Government first agreed to build a primary school in the Docklands, after years of advocacy and campaigning from local parents and myself, they unfortunately didn’t think much about how families would actually travel to and from school. With the school site being surrounded by very busy major roads, a busy commuter bike path, and in the middle of an endless construction zone, this was a unique challenge.

The principal, parents and I have been talking to state and local governments for some time now about the problems this has caused; difficulty crossing busy Footscray Rd in the time allotted, families having to wait on a dangerous tiny island in the middle of the road, narrow dangerous footpaths coming from West Melbourne, short crossing light times on Docklands Drive, speeding traffic around the school, and kids and cyclists have to dodge one another on the bike path.

After I took these concerns directly to the Transport Minister, I was really pleased when last year, the state government and the council responded by installing 40km/hr signs around the school, and employed a second school crossing supervisor at the Footscray Rd intersection. But we knew there was more to be done.

Now, the state government has recently announced it will fund some further upgrades. Upgrades it’s considering include fencing along Footscray Rd to protect students and pedestrians from road traffic, electronic 40km/hr speed signs and better road markings to encourage cars to slow down in the school zone, and markings or decals on the footpaths to increase safety for kids walking to school and encourage cyclists and pedestrians to better share the path.

Of course, bigger structural changes to Footscray Rd, Docklands Drive and the cycle path will be necessary, not just band-aid solutions, and I will continue to push for this. But in the meantime, it’s a really good sign that the state government is listening to our concerns and taking some shorter-term measures to help, while investigating what longer-term measures might be needed.

Well done to all the parents, school staff and community members who have raised this with me and with the government – it’s getting results!

As your local MP, it’s my job and my pleasure to advocate in Parliament for the things that matter to you. If there’s a local issue I can help you with, please get in touch at [email protected]

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