Just talk to us: Council hears plea to improve rural road
HISTORY has repeated itself in the Somerset, with the local council choosing to forgo upgrade works on Mahon Rd at Coominya.
The decision followed a petition received in November, with 26 signatures asking for council to create a two-lane sealed surface for the busy road.
Mahon Road extends from Coominya's main street all the way to Patrick Estate Road near the school, and while both ends of the road are two-lane, for several hundred metres, the remainder of the road is only four-metres wide.
Requests for the road to be resurfaced first emerged in the wake of the 2011 floods, when the nearby Lockyer Creek spilled over and flooded the road.
In 2013, numerous options were considered to stabilise the creek bed and reconstruct the road, however these were dismissed due to reports indicating the road would be unlikely to survive future flooding.
"I remember the meetings we've had about this in the past, about the costs associated with that road, and the risk still involved," Councillor Helen Brieschke said.
"The main thing we have to worry about is private access for residents, which isn't too much of an issue right now."
Mahon Rd resident Wendy Hughes, who started the petition, said access was not the only issue for residents, due to dust thrown up by passing vehicles.
"When cars get off the road, there's dust going each and every way," she said.
"We can't have our doors and windows open at the front of our houses. The trucks don't even have to get off the road to raise the dust."
Councillor Robert Whalley cited a lack of safety issues as another reasons not to go ahead with working on the road.
"I doubt there's been any accidents along there," he said.
"It's not the kind of road to open up on."
Wendy said it was only due to the responsible actions of drivers familiar with the road that accidents have been avoided.
"It's only those drivers that are willing to pull off the road and wait for the other traffic to go past, that's why there haven't been any accidents," she said.
Over a period of five days, Wendy noted that 484 cars, 40 trucks, 5 tractors, 22 bicycles, and 3 people had used the road.
These numbers align closely with council's own recordings of the road's activity, with a traffic counter in 2000 noting an average of 115 vehicles per day, with 9.2% being heavy vehicles, and a 2019 count finding 114 vehicles per day, with 10.7% being heavy vehicles.
"If that doesn't indicate that's a busy road, I don't know what can," Wendy said.
"Everyone uses the road. You get a lot of tradesmen going up and down, various trucks, even people in caravans."
Unfortunately, this isn't quite busy enough to satisfy council policy.
Any road with a minimum traffic count of 150+ vehicles per day is added to the forward works list for upgrade to a two-lane standard.
Wendy said she and her neighbours want to speak with council directly, and planned to continue pushing for resurfacing to be done on the road.
"We're having a meeting with them on Wednesday," she said.
"Please, just talk to us. They've had no discussions with us as to what our concerns are in relation to the road."