Traffic fix sends mayors round the twist

The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure said the new Federation Corner roundabout conformed to Australian standards.
The Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure said the new Federation Corner roundabout conformed to Australian standards.

A key intersection on Yorke Peninsula has been slammed as possibly being no safer than before it underwent a $4 million upgrade.

The Ardrossan turn-off at the corner of Copper Coast and Yorke Highways, near Port Wakefield, was recently fitted with a roundabout.

This came after a triple-fatality at the junction, but Copper Coast Council Mayor Paul Thomas, of Kadina, says it is still hazardous.

He said tracks had been left across the roundbout by a vehicle that went straight on at the curved lane.

Mr Thomas said he would visit the roundabout at the Australia Day long weekend to assess how the design coped with the expected onslaught of tourist traffic.

He expects a “bottleneck” of traffic at the roundabout known as Federation Corner.

Mr Thomas blasted the design of the roadwork because it confronted travellers coming from Adelaide with an unexpected traffic diversion.

“You come up over the hill coming back from Adelaide and you are right on top of a roundabout,” he said.

His council and the Barunga West and Yorke Peninsula mayors had protested the design before it was introduced.

“We made a deputation to the Minister and he attempted to allay our fears, but those fears are not allayed,” he said.

“We were led to believe the design was going to be much bigger.”

He said this was important considering more roadtrains and B-double trucks were expected to travel to the peninsula.

Asked whether the design was potentially fatal for drivers, he said: “If people abide by the road rules, I would say ‘no’ ... it is confusing.

“The roundabout was constructed in response to a triple-fatality at the intersection. I am not sure the way it has been done, we have made the intersection any safer.”

The department said it was happy with the roundabout and there were no immediate plans to modify it.

“There are some finishing works on the roundabout which are expected to be completed by the end of January,” a spokesman said.

“During these works, the roads will remain open to traffic with speed and lane restrictions in place, as needed.

“Permanent signs, including large signs denoting the roundabout, will be installed on all approaches this month. Large advanced notice directional signs will be installed on all three approaches.”

He said the roundabout conformed to Australian standards.