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Association straightens record on footpath plan SOMERS Residents’ Association (SRA) has issued a written explanation to correct “misinformation� about its role in Mornington Peninsula’s Shire’s footpath plan for the village. SRA president Kingsley Culley said much of the “misinformation� being circulated came “from people who did not even live in Somers�. Property owners are being billed for 50 per cent of the cost if the project goes ahead. He said the misinformation included suggestions that the SRA was putting its weight behind the project, that the 14-member committee was promoting it and that the association had misled residents. “We have at all times consulted with residents through surveys and questionnaires so everyone has had an opportunity to express his or her views on the proposal,� Mr Culley said. “The role of the SRA is simply to reflect the views of our members and the wider community on issues of importance within our village,� Mr Colley stated in his letter to residents last week. “We act as a conduit for these views and make representations on the community’s behalf to relevant authorities and groups. From time to time we canvass the views of the community through surveys. Our most recent survey focussed on the issue of pathways in Somers. “In relation to the pathways project our overriding concern is, and always has been, the safety of residents and visitors to the village, particularly children and older members of our community along the bus route.�

Footpath needed: Somers resident Doug Coates says a made footpath in the village cannot come soon enough. A Somers resident for 33 years, Mr Coates has to use the road to get from his house to anywhere in Somers on his mobility scooter. He says he cannot drive over the nature strips, despite buying a larger scooter with wider wheels, and is forced onto the road, competing with cars and buses.

Mr Culley said the SRA decided to advocate for a footpath through Somers following a 2009 survey in which respondents “expressed a strong view that walking on the road along the bus route (Parklands Av, Tasman and South Beach roads), and also along Camp Hill Rd, was becoming dangerous and there was a need for footpaths�. He said Camp Hill Rd is a main access road to and from Somers Primary School used daily by pupils. “The results of the 2009 survey were shared with the community at a public meeting and also with the Shire of Morn-

ington Peninsula. The shire responded with support and an offer to meet 50 per cent of the cost of constructing a pathway, with the balance to come from sources other than the shire.� In the following four years the SRA unsuccessfully sought state and federal governments funding for the other 50 per cent “in an attempt to avoid any cost to the community�. “In 2013, after objections to the original plan, a revised pathway scheme was developed involving a narrower meandering footpath with alternative informal surfaces and a recreational

bicycle route through the back streets of Somers. This proposal was put to the whole community - not just the 680 SRA members - by means of a further survey,� Mr Culley said. “More than 90 per cent of the more than 400 people who completed the survey supported a pathway along Parklands Av, Tasman Rd, South Beach Rd and Camp Hill Rd. More than 60 per cent preferred an exposed aggregate surface - a less formal surface than concrete that is pram and wheelchair friendly - over the alternative granitic sand surface.�

Mr Culley said the shire had given the pathway project high priority and proposes an exposed aggregate shared pathway along Camp Hill Rd and the northern end of South Beach Rd with an exposed aggregate narrower meandering footpath along Parklands Av, Tasman Rd and the south end of South Beach Rd. Mr Culley said the SRA’s involvement ended when it shared the survey results with the shire and it was for the shire to consider all objections and submissions and make a decision on the project later this year.

More train pain for drivers on way

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Neil Walker neil@mpnews.com.au DRIVERS’ pain could be train commuters’ gain when eight new X’Trapolis trains take to Melbourne’s rail tracks later this year. Metro Trains plans to lower boom gates at several level crossings for longer times, including “the majority� of those on the Frankston line, to maintain safety at road and rail intersections since the X’Trapolis trains have quicker acceleration than existing trains. Boom gates could be lowered for up to 15 seconds longer before any train approaches a level crossing on the Frankston line for safety reasons. Metro spokeswoman Pauline O’Connor said level crossing timings on the Frankston, Werribee and Williamstown lines will be adjusted. The crossing timing is specific for each level crossing and needs to be assessed individually, but generally boom gates will go down between one and 15 seconds earlier,� Ms O’Connor said. “The reason for this is to ensure the safe operation of the level crossing for road, pedestrian and rail users.� She said “the majority of level crossings along the Frankston line will be affected�. One X’Trapolis train has been running along the Frankston line since October last year. X’Trapolis trains have been running elsewhere on Melbourne’s rail network since 2002. Longer wait times for drivers to cross railway lines could cause longer traffic jams during peak travel times. Metro says all boom gates will close for longer periods “in a staged approach� by mid-November. The Labor state government has promised to remove eleven level crossings along the Frankston line, by separating road from rail, within eight years. The eleven Frankston line crossings to be re-

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Need for speed: New faster X’Trapolis trains on the Frankston line mean boom gates at level crossings will be down for longer for safety reasons. Picture: Yanni

moved are: North Rd (Ormond), Balcombe Rd (Mentone), Centre Rd (Bentleigh), Charman Rd (Cheltenham), Edithvale Rd (Edithvale), Eel Race Rd (Carrum), McKinnon Rd (McKinnon), Seaford Rd (Seaford), Skye Rd (Frankston), Station St (Bonbeach), Station St (Carrum).

:(67(51325775$&7256 ,03/(0(17 )UDQNVWRQ)OLQGHUV5G +DVWLQJV3KRQH MDPHV#ZHVWHUQSRUWWUDFWRUVFRPDX Western Port News 22 September 2015

PAGE 9

Profile for Mornington Peninsula News Group

22 September 2015  

Western Port News 22 September 2015

22 September 2015  

Western Port News 22 September 2015

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