MP stands by safety trial

SAFETY: Lara MP John Eren continues backing a six-month trial for deadly Thompson Rd.

By Natalee Kerr

Local MP John Eren is standing by a six-month safety trial for the “most-dangerous section” of Thompson Rd after a fatality outside the zone last week.

The 36-year-old pedestrian became the road’s fifth fatality this year after colliding with a car near Elmore St at Norlane.

Last month State Government announced a $200,000 trial to reduce lanes and paint medians with turning lanes between Morgan and Separation Sts.

The safety improvements are earmarked for a stretch about 2km south from the site of last week’s fatality.

Thompson Rd cafe owner Mark Butcher has urged the government to extend the single-lane trial to the whole road after seeing numerous near-misses south of the trial’s zone.

Mr Eren, Labor’s Member for Lara, declined to say whether he supported extending the trial.

“Over the past five years there’s been an unacceptable number of crashes on this section of Thompson Rd,” Mr Eren said.

“By reducing the number of lanes from four down to two we’re reducing the likelihood of crashes and boosting safety for cyclists and pedestrians.”

Mr Eren said more than a month ago that the upgrades would be introduced in “coming weeks” but Regional Roads Victoria’s website said they were still “in planning”.

During the past five years Thompson Rd accounted for 25 serious and 46 minor-injury collisions, according to VicRoads.

Half of greater Geelong’s road fatalities this year have been on Thompson Rd, Transport Accident Commission figures show.

The government said the majority of the road’s collisions involved drivers turning right to enter or exit Thompson Rd.

Regional Roads Victoria will consider further works for the road following the completion of the trial, according to the government.

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