Hurstville schools call for a traffic safety precinct

Tragedy: The accident scene where a 12-year-old boy has been hit and killed by a car at Hurstville Public School in September. Picture: James Alcock
Tragedy: The accident scene where a 12-year-old boy has been hit and killed by a car at Hurstville Public School in September. Picture: James Alcock

Five Hurstville schools have joined forces calling for a school safety zone to be declared for the suburb's educational precinct following the death of a student in a traffic accident outside Hurstville Public School in September.

The Sydney Technical High School student, 12, had just finished walking his younger brother to Hurstville Public School when a motorist allegedly ran a red light at the corner of Forest Road and Lily Street.

The death has had a galvanising effect on the school community who are calling for major changes to traffic and pedestrian controls in the area.

Principals, head teachers and parents from Hurstville Public, Hurstville Boys High, Sydney Technical College, Bethany College Hurstville and St Mary's Star of the Sea school met with representatives Bayside and Georges River Councils, police and Kogarah MP Chris Minns on October 25 to discuss the proposed changes.

They particularly want a dedicated Hurstville-Bexley precinct school safety zone declared encompassing Hurtville's entire educational precinct which, if approved, is believed to be the first in NSW.

The schools called for a 40km/h zone throughout the precinct with improved flashing signage, road markings and traffic calming measures outside all local schools.

The School Zone would be extended from before Wright Street in the south and Perrys Avenue in the north.

There would be speed cameras outside Sydney Technical High School, Bethany College and Hurstville Public School, safety cameras at the intersection of Forest Road and Croydon Road and bollards on Forest Road in front of Hurstville Public School and Bethany College.

Red light traffic cameras and elevated crossings would be installed along Forest Road and Croydon Road, new pedestrian crossings on Kenwyn, Cronulla and Botany Streets and traffic light sequencing changed.

There would be extension of heavy duty barriers along the footpath and installation of a roundabout at the Kenwyn Street and Forest Road intersection.

Longer term proposals include a pedestrian bridge over Forest Road, pedestrian tunnel under Forest Road, the closure of Kenwyn Street to traffic during school pick-up and drop-off times, and traffic lights installed at the intersection of Kenwyn Street and Forest Road.

"This is a community-led campaign," Mr Minns said. "We are not after condemnation of anybody. We just want a change to the traffic management of the area."

Mr Minns Has written to Transport Minister Andrew Constance outlining the precinct and safety zone proposal.

He has requested a traffic study of the corner of Forest Road and Croydon Road.

"School children from Danebank, Sydney Tech and Hurstville Public cross over Croydon Road on this corner," Mr Minns said. "Often students are pushed onto the road causing a great safety risk."

Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and Roads, Miranda MP Eleni Petinos, said Transport for NSW is assessing potential safety improvements outside Hurstville Public.

These include increased red arrow pedestrian protection when drivers turn left from Lily Street onto Forest Road; improved line marking to guide motorists turning right from Lily Street onto Forest Road, and extra pedestrian fencing on Forest Road.

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