The Council is considering making representations to VicRoads and the State Government following a report outlining the high cost of maintaining school crossings.
The Council will fund $73,218 of the expected $112, 915 cost this year of its 14 supervised crossings, with the remainder funded by subsidies for 11 of the crossings from VicRoads.
A report to the Council in July revealed that the cost to the Council of maintaining the crossings rose from $39,159 in 2010/11 to a forecast $90,557 in 2015/16. While VicRoads have increased the number of crossings receiving the subsidy for the 2015/16 financial year, the Council will still bear around two thirds of the total cost.
“People may not know that the Council is responsible for running supervised crossings, for the infrastructure and salaries involved,” said Mayor Cr Justin King.
“Historically local councils and the State Government shared the cost equally but this has changed over time. The subsidy from VicRoads is based on the amount of people who use the crossing, and pedestrian use of crossings has dropped over the last five years,” Cr King said.
“The crossing still costs the same amount to run, however, no matter how many people use it. We have some crossings where fewer than five people cross in a day, but for those five people, that crossing is very important.
“We are keen to see children walking to school for their health and wellbeing, and we have a project commencing soon to encourage that, but we don’t expect to see a large enough increase to impact on the VicRoads subsidy.
“Our options at this stage are to lobby the State Government through School Crossings Victoria or the MAV, or to approach VicRoads directly and request a higher level of subsidy.”
The Council has noted the report and will continue to discuss the issue.