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Bronte Cutting Stonewalled

By Duncan Horscroft on January 8, 2015 in News

Photo: Mark Maguire

Photo: Mark Maguire

The Bronte Cutting has come under fire after a series of near misses involving pedestrians and vehicles.

And, as the existing footpath only covers around a third of the total length of the cutting, the question has been asked who is responsible if there is an accident in an area where there is no pedestrian access other than the road.

Waverley Council has spent truckloads of money on the cutting in their quest to make the area one of its major cash cows. But after taking over the car park from the Bronte Surf Club many years ago, they have still failed to get it right.

Their first effort featured so-called automatic boom gates, but when they fell into ‘disarray’ there was no effort to fix them.

A demountable shed was put in place and an operator employed by the council was responsible for vehicle entry and payment, and generally keeping an eye on things.

After more than ten years the council decided that technology was better than human contact. Down came the demountable and along came the present-day ‘smart’ meters, with in-ground sensors to detect when a parking time limit has expired.

There have been rumours that some Waverley Council parking rangers have refused to book motorists in the cutting because the lack of an appropriate footpath is an OHS issue and it jeopardises their safety while performing their duties.

The beautiful coastal walk from Bondi to Clovelly is world famous and attracts hordes of people, especially during events such as Sculptures By The Sea, which Waverley Council is quick to promote because of the revenue it generates.

But the walk does run into a brick wall between Bronte Beach and the Waverley Cemetery, where there is no safe place to go other than in the middle of the road, mixing it up with a line of cars fighting for a parking spot.

Bronte Surf Club plays host to more than 800 Nippers on summer Sundays and parents taking their kids down to the beach for these activities have reported near misses on a number of occasions.

Parents having to unload prams and beach gear while keeping toddlers in toe in areas where there are no footpaths are also becoming increasingly worried due to the demand on weekends.

The question has been raised as to who is responsible for the road and why a narrow path on each side cannot be built to make it easier and safer for those alighting from parked cars.

My requests to find out from Waverley Council who is responsible and if there will be any measures put into place for better safety have so far fallen on deaf ears.

*Protocol calls for journalists writing anything about Waverley Council to go through the proper channels such as their media department. I had been in touch with three of their media officers prior to writing this story and, at the time of print, no one had bothered getting back to me.