29 October 2022

Parking mayhem at Jubilee Park raises safety concerns

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Red Hill Road

Cars parked on either side of Red Hill Road. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

At the launch of touch football season last week, with several sports converging on Jubilee Park, Wagga parents, children and motorists were caught in congestion and parking bedlam.

Hundreds of aspiring athletes gathered last Thursday (20 October) evening as Wagga Touch returned for its first night of games, alongside Little Athletics, raising concerns over a lack of parking and road safety.

With multiple games happening at the same time, the Jubilee Park carpark couldn’t accommodate all the vehicles involved, forcing parents to park on Holbrook and Red Hill Roads.

“Kids are running across the road on the 70 km/h zone along Red Hill Road because it’s such a nightmare trying to find parking that parents have to park on the opposite side of the road,” said concerned mother and team manager for PAH Panthers under-10s girls, Bec Hopper.

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She said the lack of parking was forcing children to run across the road by themselves.

“The kids run to and from the car to get to their games,” she said.

Ms Hopper said about 300 children played games simultaneously and with a turnover of games every hour, 400 to 500 people were coming to and leaving the oval.

“With so many people coming and going at those times, it can get pretty hard to get out,” she said.

“If we have angled parking it will be safer for the children and it’s more visible to get out into the traffic.”

The concerned mother-of-three said Wagga Wagga City Council needed to urgently address the Red Hill Road parking.

“People are trying to park parallel along the road but the width of the road is definitely wide enough to allow for angled parking,” Ms Hopper said.

“If they had indicated angled parking, it’s a lot more uniform and people will be parked on the same side of Jubilee Park rather than the opposite side of the road.”

Parents are also concerned they will cop fines as they did during the State Cup, which has also been the case during the netball season at Equex.

The team manager said parking was a council responsibility as Wagga Touch had reduced game times so there were not as many people arriving and leaving at the same time.

“They [the clubs] have always been pretty conscious of it [parking],” Ms Hopper said.

On Thursday (27 October) there was a minor accident at the top of Red Hill Road involving a P-plater in the traffic build-up. A mother was seen running to grab a child who had missed the crossing.

Riverina Police District said no one was hurt in the accident.

Wagga Wagga City Council told Region the council had not received any complaints about parking at Jubilee Park.

Council Director Infrastructure Services Warren Faulkner said council had no plans to formalise on-street parking around Jubilee Park.

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“To improve road safety along Red Hill Road adjacent to Jubilee Park, council resolved at its last meeting (17 October) to install a new line marking arrangement that includes a two-metre wide painted median in the centre of the road to improve the cross-ability of the road for pedestrians,” Mr Faulkner said.

“This section of Red Hill Road was rehabilitated last year and only has an initial bitumen seal on it.

“Council will be putting a final bitumen seal on over the summer sealing season and was planning to install the new line marking arrangement as part of those works.

Mr Faulkner said the council would monitor the traffic situation along Red Hill Road on a Thursday night and may install the new line marking arrangement before the final seal occurs.

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