Road repair

Last week’s tragic double fatality on Long Valley Road between Strathalbyn and Wistow has reignited calls for improvements to the increasingly busy commuter corridor.
While there is no suggestion that the condition of the road had any influence on this latest accident, the Alexandrina Council has been lobbying State Government authorities for months for action to be taken on the road.
Twice the council wrote to the relevant department and twice it received no reply.
That is as discourteous as it is unprofessional.
The third approach – once again outlining the council’s concerns with limited passing opportunities, bad driver bahavior and the condition of the road’s surface – did receive a reply which Mayor Keith Parkes described as a “fob off”.
Now the community is reeling from the deaths of two local teenagers and once the pain and heartache has eased, attention will invariably return to the condition of the road.
The Long Valley Road carries over 8000 vehicles a day and is the major route linking Mt Barker and Adelaide with the booming communities of Strathalbyn and beyond.
The road has two overtaking lanes (both on hills) and has broad sweeping bends perfectly suited to the 100km/h speed zone.
One major concern is the lack of turn-out lanes for slow moving traffic which can lead to driver frustration and risky behavior on a road primarily used by commuter traffic.
Bad driver behavior can never be condoned, but the reality is that a country road which has become a major commuter thoroughfare in the past few years has different requirements to a country road of lower importance.
There are also a number of minor roads which enter this fast flowing stream of traffic at dangerous locations – Archer Hill Road, Pursell Road, Stirling Hill Road and Gemmell Road – for example.
The continuation of this road from Wistow into Mt Barker is a disgrace.
This part of the road carries even more traffic than the Long Valley Road – admittedly at a lower speed – but it is a wonder that it can be considered in adequate condition by road authorities.
The Transport Minister should take it upon himself to become acquainted with the shortcomings of this road at his earliest opportunity.

For the full report, see the print issue of The Courier.