Traffic conditions on Jones and Mornington‑Tyabb roads always posed a threat to Tyabb Primary School families before Peninsula Link opened. However, since that time Mornington‑Tyabb Road has become the route of choice between Peninsula Link and the Western Port side of the peninsula for all types of traffic, including massive B‑double trucks, and things have become very dangerous.
Tyabb primary has become recognised as one of the state’s outstanding schools, and student numbers have built to around 400 as a consequence. The severe lack of available parking space at the school has meant that parents are required to sit still in the middle of Mornington‑Tyabb Road while waiting to turn into the approach to the school’s kiss and drop zone. Traffic in both directions, including tankers and B‑doubles, are then required to attempt to pass, often forcing the wheels off the road verge and onto the gravel shoulder. This is an unsafe situation for motorists and truck drivers passing the school and potentially catastrophic for parents and children in the vehicles in the middle of the road and for people standing on the side of the road or on the footpath. Motorists who use this stretch of road, or attempt to access the parking during school times, know of the dangers that the current parking arrangements pose for students and parents. It is only a matter of time before a serious accident is caused because of this dangerous situation.
This has been a longstanding problem for the school community, but it has become much more dangerous over recent years. I have assisted the school’s leadership to present potential solutions to the government. I proposed the use of the abandoned tennis courts on the land adjacent to the school for overflow parking, and while council agreed, VicRoads argued that if they allow parents to turn off into such a car park, any accident would become a VicRoads responsibility, whereas the current arrangements were the choice of the parents.
Then while in government I secured $40 000 from the then Minister for Education to enable planning for a solution to be found. Unfortunately under this government no action has been taken by either of the departments as they continue to ignore this life‑threatening problem. I have had extensive dealings with the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council regarding the traffic management of the Tyabb Primary School precinct, and at various times we have tried to implement solutions. Last year the school reinforced its serious concerns during a discussion with the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, saying:
We want to reinforce that safety is our greatest concern.
The safety of the parents and passengers sitting in vehicles along both sides of Mornington‑Tyabb Road, safety of drivers who have to manoeuvre around parked cars along the road and the safety of our children/parents who walk through moving traffic in our drive‑through and along Mornington‑Tyabb Road to access their vehicles.