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Principal warns on danger of busy road

A pedestrian may have to die on Athllon Drive before the road is finally made safe for pedestrians, the principal and school board chairman of the Melrose High School have warned.

The school has been lobbying for several years for safety improvements on the six-lane, 80km/h road, which some students have to cross to catch buses.

In a submission to an Assembly committee on ''vulnerable road users'', Melrose High School principal George Palavestra and chairman David Cross have vented their frustrations on the issue.

''Regrettably a fatality seems to be the only mechanism which may facilitate a serious attempt to solve this problem. This is too high [a] price to pay for that action,'' they wrote.

More than 400 students needed to access the Athllon Drive/Beasley Street/Mawson Drive intersection within a 20-minute window at the end of the school day to catch southbound buses.

Only minimal traffic-calming devices existed, and a refuge island had eroded.

Building an overpass had been deemed too expensive and a suggestion the speed limit be lowered to 40km/h had been dismissed by Territory and Municipal Services, the submission said.

Government agencies had said the school should be responsible for teaching students to cross the road safely.

''A teacher duty was initiated by the school to manage the flow of students,'' the Melrose submission said.

''This has OH&S and legal repercussions as the staff member on duty does not have, nor do they wish to have, traffic or intersection management authority.

''The teacher on duty endeavours to manage the flow of students from the school grounds but does not have control once the students start the crossing process. This adds an additional stress for the teacher on duty as members of the public have the unrealistic expectation that they control the intersection.''

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