Work starts on Pomonal Speed Safe Initiative

Posted Tuesday 24 September, 04:37pm

Work has started on the Pomonal Speed Safe Initiative with contractors beginning construction outside the town’s primary school last week.

Ararat Rural City Council CEO Dr Tim Harrison said it was great to see work start on the project, which originated from community concerns about the high speeds some drivers travel through Pomonal.

The project is being funded through Regional Roads Victoria’s Towards Safer Speeds Challenge grant program.

Dr Harrison said the first part of the project at the primary school involves creating a gathering space for student drop off and pick up, landscaping, widening the footpath and installing public art.

“The project aims to strongly demarcate the town, providing greater visual cues to drivers that they are travelling through a town and need to slow down,” he said.

“The first section of work at the school will provide a safer environment for the children and parents who use the area, and will go a long way in helping drivers understand the need to slow down in the area.

“The community committee overseeing the project were really happy to see work start last week and Council is excited to see how the new gardens and art work will look.”

The work currently being undertaken should be finished by late next week, with art work to be installed at a later date.

Data collected by Council last year showed around 25 per cent of vehicles travelled through the town at speeds higher than the 60kmh limit. Although there are plenty of traditional speed signs, drivers are either not noticing them or are ignoring them, and as a result a more innovative approach was taken.

Ararat Rural City Council received $50,000 from Regional Roads Victoria’s Towards Safer Speeds Challenge grant program for the project. Council surveyed the community and received fantastic ideas about how to tackle the issue, then engaged a landscape architect to develop four concepts to help these ideas come to life.

The project is being driven by a group of committed residents including representatives from the Pomonal Primary School, the Pomonal Progress Association, Regional Roads Victoria and Victoria Police.

Dr Harrison said that with limited funding, the Council could only implement one of the concepts at this stage so the community was asked to vote on their preferred option via email or letter, and at a drop-in session held in April. This consultation saw the primary school option take precedence.

He said that Council is now seeking more funding in a bid to complete the other three ideas.

The other three concepts are:

  • Sculptural town entrances – using local artists, creating large town entrance signs referencing the natural environment, surrounded by native landscaping.
  • General Store intersection – road and traffic treatments to better delineate the intersection and better manage traffic flow, and the installation of large public art pieces.
  • Pomonal Community Hall – installation of a sculptural fence, landscape plantings, signage and grouped seating areas.