Traffic study to re-assess 'wombat crossing' viability

Transport Minister and Schubert MP Stephan Knoll announced the 'wombat crossing' in December 2018 after the idea received $70,000 through a community grant.
Transport Minister and Schubert MP Stephan Knoll announced the 'wombat crossing' in December 2018 after the idea received $70,000 through a community grant.

A cloud of doubt hangs over the future of the proposed ‘wombat crossing’ on Murray Street, Nuriootpa, after the Minister for Transport today requested that a broader town-wide traffic study be completed first.

The ‘wombat crossing’, announced in December last year, immediately received criticism from the community and was described as expensive, “terrible for vehicles” and “a nightmare”.

According to Transport Minister and Schubert MP Stephan Knoll, the Nuriootpa traffic study will “develop a preferred option to improve safety for pedestrians to cross Gawler Street” as well as look at broader Nuriootpa traffic issues.

“After receiving considerable feedback on the proposed wombat crossing at Gawler Street, I (as Minister) have requested further work from the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure,” Mr Knoll said.

The traffic investigation study is expected to be completed in mid 2019 and is a joint effort by the Barossa Council and the State Government.

The planned ‘wombat crossing’, due to commence mid-March of this year, has been delayed to take into account the findings of the traffic study.

The idea for a pedestrian crossing was originally awarded $70,000 after it received a high number of votes in one of the previous State Government’s community grant scheme.

Member for Schubert Stephan Knoll said this was a good outcome which would take into consideration a number of factors affecting pedestrian safety and road users.

“This will allow us to achieve a better balance between pedestrian safety and growing community traffic needs.”

In 2017, he wrote to the previous Minister for Transport requesting a study into traffic management and pedestrian flows, but it was rejected.

Mr Knoll said new retail development, increased freight traffic and new residential development were all contributors to increased traffic flows through Nuriootpa.

“I am hopeful we will be able to develop a plan which adequately addresses the requirements of pedestrians and road users alike,” he said.

“I would like to thank all members of the community who took the time to provide feedback during the consultation process and demonstrated the desire for a more considered and well-rounded solution to these issues.”