By Natalee Kerr
Geelong’s deadliest road is “even worse” after authorities applied a trial safety fix this week, according to a veteran trader on the strip.
John Boom slammed the configuration of new turning lanes on Thompson Rd as “unbelievably dangerous”.
“There’s just more head-on accidents waiting to happen,” he said.
“There have already been five deaths on Thompson Rd this year and this is only going to add to that count.”
VicRoads painted the turning lanes on Tuesday after calls for a safety upgrade amid the road’s spate of deaths since February.
Thompson Rd’s five deaths has accounted for half of greater Geelong’s road fatalities so far this year, Transport Accident Commission figures show.
Drivers turning right to enter or exit Thompson Rd were involved in the majority of its crashes, according to State Government.
The six-month trial has also reduced four lanes to two between Morgan and Separation Sts.
But Mr Boom said the decision to install right-hand turns into Naughton Ave and an opposite service station in the same lane threatened to produce even more crashes.
“Head-to-head traffic trying to turn at the same time from the same lane? It’s deadly madness.”
Mr Boom said the reduction in lanes would also “destroy” his business.
“The works have taken away our roadside car-parking spaces.
“Any on-street car parking we had with the other lane is now gone. We had six parks along the road and now we have none.
“We have no customers anymore because they have nowhere to park.”
The $200,000 upgrades followed weeks of delays since State Government announced the project almost two months ago.
Local MP John Eren recently defended the trial despite the most-recent fatality occurring outside the trial zone, when a truck hit a pedestrian a fortnight ago at the Donnybrook Ave intersection.
Regional Roads Victoria would “carefully” monitor the road and seek community feedback during the trial, Mr Eren said.
Thompson Rd has accounted for 25 serious and 46 minor-injury collisions in the past five years, according to VicRoads.