The once quiet stretch of gravel road that is the tail end of Ocean View Drive at Valla Beach is fast becoming a dusty nightmare for residents.
Greg Mergan presented a petition and spoke on behalf of residents at Thursday’s council meeting, saying that active promotion of tourism in the area had seen the number of people and activities increase.
“There are more tourists, including buses, there are the markets, council workers often come here for their lunch breaks, families come on weekends, which is all good except from a health and safety perspective,” Mr Mergan said.
“There are elderly people, joggers, parents with prams and small children all using this shared 200 stretch of road – the speed of drivers as well as the dust, which causes breathing problems, are both of concern.”
Assistant General Manager, Engineering, Paul Gallagher, said the council was working with the Valla Beach Community Association to improve the area.
“We need to fix some drainage there first and then we have been looking at putting a dust seal over the surface as a cheap alternative to a full seal,” Mr Gallagher said.
“For a few thousand dollars we could do this as part of our normal maintenance … but we have a substantial program and would have to fit it in when an opportunity arose.”
The mayor, Rhonda Hoban, said the shire had 345 kilometres of unsealed roads and many residents were having problems with dust in this dry weather.
“The council is not extending its tar-seal network except in the case of Buckrabendinni where residents have raised money towards the cost, however a dust seal would help alleviate the problem … we can’t give you a date but you have a level of commitment.”
She said the council would ask local police to increase patrols to help with speed issues.
After the meeting Mr Mergan said he felt the temporary measure of the dust seal was not ideal.
“It really is such a short piece of road and I don’t want to see money wasted. The speed issue also needs something more permanent – although speed humps are not popular, perhaps we do need them.”