Residents say Leopold intersection needs fixing

December 5, 2021 BY

The intersection, as seen from the north side of Melaluka Road. Photos: JAMES TAYLOR

CORANGAMITE federal member Libby Coker has promised to press local and state governments for action on an intersection that Leopold residents say is dangerous and needs immediate fixing.

The intersection on the Bellarine Highway and Melaluka Road already has traffic lights and turning lanes, but some residents are urging further measures to deal with issues including speeding, traffic congestion and right of way.

More than 20 people came to the forum hosted by Ms Coker on Wednesday last week at the clubrooms of the Leopold football and netball clubs, not far from the intersection.

Issues raised during the forum included:

  • The need for speed cameras on the inbound and outbound sections of the Bellarine Highway to stop drivers running red lights – “Drivers have got to learn what a yellow light means. A yellow light means stop, not a speedway or a couple of extra kilometres,” one resident said
  • Motorists losing patience and driving out of the shopping centre into oncoming traffic on the highway and expecting it to stop as well as ignoring “no U-turn” signs
  • The need for a third lane for turning on both sides of Melaluka Road
  • Building footpaths along both sides of Melaluka Road for the safety of pedestrians and so they had a clear path to and from the signalised pedestrian crossing
  • Confusion over right of way on Melaluka Road and resulting congestion between traffic flowing in and out of the shopping centre, the sporting grounds, and turning onto the Bellarine Highway, and
  • Some drivers avoiding the intersection entirely and using Warawee Road, a quiet residential street, as a detour.

Leopold Fire Brigade captain and long-time Leopold resident Ashley Brown said his brigade had attended many serious accidents at the intersection.

“As far as the speed cameras at the red lights, I’d like to see them in each direction – not only are they speeding up and down (the hill), they also do it along Melaluka Road.

“What I see as a danger is that with people coming from the south side of Melaluka Road, there’s no right-hand turn lane.

“If there’s people driving straight across from the north, and people waiting to turn right on the other side, there’s a lot of indecision, and I’ve seen a number of near-misses.”

Corangamite federal member Libby Coker speaks at the forum.

Leopold Football Club life member Peter Jeffreys suggested one option could be a small roundabout on Melaluka Road at the entrance to the sporting grounds and the shopping centre car park.

“There’s going to be an accident sooner or later – people get a bit tired of waiting and they go when they shouldn’t go,” he said.

Ms Coker said her office had received a “wealth of emails” from people expressing concerns about the intersection, and said the goal was to get an intersection better able to cope with increased traffic as well as buses and trucks.

“I don’t want to see a fatality at this intersection, so I think it is really urgent that we act.

“I commit to you that I’ll do my absolute best to bring the bodies together and see what we can do to get a better outcome, because it’s just not working the way it is.”