The truck accident on the bridge at Woodford as reported by The Standard once again draws attention to just how dangerous this section of road is and how totally unsuitable it is to be used as a bypass for heavy transport. Fortunately this time, no one was injured but it is a disaster waiting to happen. As a local resident, I have lost count of the number of times I have heard trucks employ emergency braking to prevent an accident on the bridge. It is simply not wide enough for two B-double trucks to be on it at the same time, a fact VicRoads conceded when they installed the flashing lights to alert drivers that a vehicle was approaching from the opposite direction. Those lights will do nothing to help a fully laden B-double pull up safely to allow the other to have sole use of the bridge, given that the average speed they are travelling at is usually more like 80km/h rather than the sign posted 60km/h. In this recent accident, a section of protective fencing along the footpath used by Woodford Primary School students and their parents was ripped out and we can only be thankful that this did not occur during the peak school travel times as the outcome could have been tragic. The bridge is not the only safety issue involving the school. Every afternoon and particularly on wet days around 3.30pm, cars are backed up on Bridge Road waiting to turn into the school area to pick up children. I shudder to think what would happen if one of those trucks was to plough into the back of that queue. Bridge Road may be a VicRoads approved B-double route but it’s certainly not a safe one as this recent accident highlights.
Jim Morrissey, Woodford
VLocity not the answer
South West Coast MP Roma Britnell states we have been duped in the south-west with no plans to introduce VLocity trains here. She states that loco hauled train reliability is poor but just where are the delays to our services? I find that the service is reliable until it needs to integrate with the commuter services, closer to Melbourne. The current loco hauled trains allow for a buffet car (the only place to purchase refreshment if travelling from further west), adjustable first class aircraft style seats (including tray table) and assistance with luggage. All of these services are not provided with the VLocity railcars. The VLocity seating is fixed, at a pitch suitable for commuter services, but very uncomfortable for longer distances (travelling from Ararat to Melbourne reinforces this point). As for the 20-minute saving provided by the VLocity cars, it would be possible to improve the current timetable and achieve the same result. Does it really need 25 minutes from Sherwood Park to Warrnambool, that is 10.44am to 11.09am. Warrnambool does need five daily return services seven days a week. However, loco hauled or railcar reliability depends on proper maintenance of infrastructure to provide the available paths. If the people of the south-west have been duped by not being provided with the VLocity railcars, then I am very happy to be duped on this occasion.
James Owens-Brownbill, Digby
Warrnambool City Council has teamed up with Positive Charge a Melbourne-based organisation that nominated a Melbourne-based company as the preferred supplier for the council-funded community bulk buy solar program. The nominated company sold its own branded solar equipment and has now ceased operations in Australia. Is the council now responsible for any warranty claims made on this equipment? In an environment where council's own survey has its residents suggesting council concentrates on essential services, why is council supporting a Melbourne-based program to compete against local operations?
Gary Opperman, Warrnambool
It seems the two big parties are insistent on selling our country's assets to foreign investors, leaving our children with no control or prospects in their own country. And they wonder why people are moving away from their traditional voting practices. But I believe they can turn this around by striking the balance between wealth and sovereignty by introducing one new law. If a political party or independent candidate proposes to make it law that no foreign interests can own more than 49 per cent of any Australian asset, thus leaving Australians with the majority controlling share, they will get my vote. Or else make it law that assets can only be leased to foreign interests. We must leave our country in the control of our children if we want them to have a reasonable future. If we continue selling it off, they will be powerless and poor.
Dean Fleming, Warrnambool