Colac school pushes to protect crossing

Colac Primary School principal Shelby Papadopoulos says potentially losing a school crossing supervisor at Colac’s Chapel Street would create a safety issue for pupils including, from left, Summer Ellis, Hunter Ellis and Remi Jacobson.

Colac Primary School principal Shelby Papadopoulos says potentially losing a school crossing supervisor at Colac’s Chapel Street would create a safety issue for pupils including, from left, Summer Ellis, Hunter Ellis and Remi Jacobson.

COLAC Primary School officials have challenged a proposal to remove a supervisor from a Colac school crossing.

Colac Otway Shire Council wrote to the school’s principal Shelby Papadopoulos last month, detailing a plan to remove the supervisor from the crossing at Chapel Street.

The letter said the crossing had become “unviable” after the council monitored usage over a “substantial period of time”.

Ms Papadopoulos said she completed an audit and found pupils used the crossing more than the letter described.

She said supervision was vital at the busy intersection before and after school.

“The footpath configuration on that corner creates issues for pupils, there’s no actual footpath on the north side of the Chapel Street bridge,” Ms Papadopoulos said.

“The students who cross the bridge have to cross on the south side.

“The other concern I have is the significant amount of traffic that goes through that intersection,” she said.

“On an average day between 3.20 and 3.30 there’s between 90 and 100 cars that go through that section of Chapel Street.

“There’s also a further 50 or more vehicles that use Polwarth Street to turn into Chapel Street; it’s a particularly busy corner with blind spots.”

Ms Papadopoulos said the timing of the letter had also caused concern.

“For us to be notified of this towards the end of February when we currently have 225 students in the school as opposed to September last year when we had 185 students in the school seems to make little sense,” she said.

“If you have more students surely there’s more need for supervision.”

Council chief Sue Wilkinson said the council had no immediate plans to remove the supervisor at Chapel Street.

“Council has no plans to shut the crossing in Chapel Street down. Instead, we plan to further monitor the crossing’s use during Term Two,” she said.

“If the crossing proves to have low use rates, council will consider having it operate as an unsupervised crossing, however flags and other markings would remain in place.”

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2 Responses to “Colac school pushes to protect crossing”

  1. Paul David Cross

    As so often seems the case with the Colac Otway Shire Council there is a direct contradiction here:

    Colac Otway Shire Council wrote to the school’s principal Shelby Papadopoulos last month, detailing a plan to remove the supervisor from the crossing at Chapel Street.

    Then we here from The Shire’s CEO Sue Wilkinson ““Council has no plans to shut the crossing in Chapel Street down. Instead, we plan to further monitor the crossing’s use during Term Two,”

    I would suggest any concerned parents who’s children attend this School demand the Council ask for more funding as to allow the continuation of the School crossing supervision in the form of a Petition. The Council is quick to beg for funding for swimming pools and Footy grounds, perhaps they should get their priorities in order.

    Fortunately the Colac Otway Shire Council now include Petitions as a standard item in Council monthly meeting Agendas.

    Petitions to Colac Otway Shire on issues affecting the Community.

    Four years ago in March 2011, I had a letter published in the Colac Herald, and other local newspapers Apollo Bay News, Otway Light, Warrnambool Standard and the Echo calling on the Colac Otway Shire Council to include petitions as a standard item in monthly Council meeting Agendas, as then already occurred at many other Councils in Victoria.

    At last, Colac Otway Shire has now just begun to do this.

    Paul David Cross: President: CosWEcount! Inc.

  2. Juggy

    It’d be a shame for them students to supervision on any of the crossings. But in the meantime, how about Local Laws actually enforce the parking restrictions around the schools as the said they we’re going to. PLUS! Teach the students from Trinity (yes i will name the school, as I’ve spoken to them in the past with no result) to use the safety crossings and teach them- when at the roundabout, the cars have 1st priority not them. Pulling their darn earphones out and putting phones aways might also make it a lot safer!