SARA Failure

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State Assessment Referral Agency fails to investigate traffic safety issues

YADCA is questioning a government decision to allow a driveway on Farrell Street for the proposed service station.

In a letter to SARA (State Assessment and Referral Agency), YADCA Vice President Marie Reeve said: “SARA’s decision to allow a driveway on Farrell Street, with the (necessary) condition that the raised median strip on Farrell St be extended north to block right hand turns, has created concerns for neighbouring businesses.

“While illegal right-hand turns would be a definite probability without the raised median strip, this (new) condition severely impacts the manoeuvrability of delivery trucks to Yandina Hardware and the Feed Barn next door.”

Marie reminded SARA that Council planners had already truncated the existing median strip and pedestrian refuge to accommodate the needs of delivery trucks.

“It is a real safety concern that SARA did not require an accurate, up to date, traffic impact assessment prior to making a decision on the proposed service station driveway on Farrell Street,” she said.

“The consultant’s data on traffic volume and type does not reflect the real situation. The community should be able to trust a government department like SARA to be thorough in its assessment and request appropriate data from the applicant, even if that means having them do traffic counts.”

YADCA asserts that the number of vehicles per hour on Farrell Street was downplayed by using data collected two years ago north of town, beyond any feeder roads from the residential areas. Since then, the Yandina East Industrial estate has expanded and new estates have been approved on Steggalls Road, Old Gympie Road, Lacey Lane and Colemans Road. A large subdivision at south west Yandina is also currently before Council.

Yandina is experiencing rapid growth and the town centre is busy during trading hours. “The proposed service station will concentrate more traffic in the heart of town but this is data SARA does not have and did not seek,” Marie said.

She also pointed out that the information in the traffic engineers report is wrong because it used standard car lengths to assess potential queuing on Farrell Street.

Yandina has unique traffic characteristics and cars are not the only vehicles expected to be customers. Yandina has two industrial estates and services a large rural community. Operators of large equipment live on rural properties in the area. Many of the vehicles patronising the BP service station in town are trucks or cars with horse floats or trailers carrying back hoes, bob cats, graders, ride on mowers, wood chippers etc. These long rigs can dominate more than one bowser … and certainly increase the queuing distance,” Marie said.  

“This failure by SARA and DTMR to scrutinise the claims made by the consultant and request data relevant to the site will exacerbate the safety problems that already exist in the vicinity of the Farrell and Stevens street intersection.”