King Creek Road residents are rolling the dice with death as they witness daily near-misses and vehicle collisions at the Oxley Highway intersection.
A public petition to 'Upgrade King Creek Rd Oxley Hwy Intersection' has received significant support with more than 500 signatures in less than a week.
The call for action was created by local resident Meg Tubman, who navigates the intersection each morning for work.
Miss Tubman said the intersection is unsafe due to a lack of visibility when turning onto the Oxley Highway, significant congestion and the prevalence of motorists driving along the footpath to make illegal left turns.
"I decided to put the petition up because I genuinely feel unsafe at the intersection. I find it really scary each morning," Miss Tubman said.
"Changes to the intersection are definitely overdue because there wasn't as much traffic three or four years ago. New streets and developments have been added to King Creek Road since then.
"Cars illegally drive up the left hand shoulder of the road 200 to 300 metres before the intersection and even cut through car parks to get past the stopped traffic if they are turning left.
"It would be good if an expert could look at the road and decide the best solution for everyone's safety.
"Although the council only has the power to upgrade King Creek Road they do have the power to speak to the RMS on behalf of the local community about the Oxley Highway. The council has a duty of care to the residents and as the population grows infrastructure needs to be upgraded."
The petition calls for a formal traffic study to review safety, the addition of two turning lanes on King Creek Road and the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to lobby Roads and Maritime Services NSW.
King Creek Smash Repairs & Automotive owner Terry Burn previously submitted a successful petition to have the highway speed limit lowered to 80kmph.
He said he sees near misses between cars every day at the intersection.
"There's definitely a lack of visibility because of the angle that King Creek Road approaches the highway. When you pull out it would be easier for people if there were merging lanes in both directions," he said.
"We see cars backed up along the road in a queue 40 cars long some mornings. The problem is that the population of King Creek has become double what it was, and nothings changed on the road.
"The collisions are sporadic at the intersection, sometimes we don't have one for 12 months and then have three in consecutive weeks. It's hard to say how frequent they are."
Mr Burn said a fatality is only a matter of time because frustrated drivers are driving along the King Creek Road footpath to avoid long queues onto Oxley Highway.
Lambs Motor Trimming owner Graeme Lamb, who works on King Creek Road, said he could not see any easy answer to the traffic issues.
"Something has changed because between 7.30am to 8.30am there's a 300 metre queue out from King Creek Road all bumper to bumper, crawling along," he said.
"There are narrow-misses of crashes there all the time and I think it's had more than its fair share of accidents. It's definitely not safe."
Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams said an inspection of the King Creek Road and Oxley Highway Intersection is progressing.
"I am advised that Transport for NSW is in the process of carrying out a thorough review of the intersection of the Oxley Highway and Kings Creek Road which will identify short and long-term solutions to improve safety," she said.
"The community will be kept updated as this work progresses.
"Following community concerns, Transport for NSW undertook a speed zone review of the Oxley Highway at this location in 2019 and the speed limit was subsequently reduced from 100km/h to 80km/h.
"Between October 2015 and September 2020 there were five reported crashes at this location with no fatalities.
"Transport for NSW is also currently carrying out mowing along the Oxley Highway between Lake Road in Port Macquarie and Wauchope which will improve visibility and safety along this busy section of road."
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council staff have recognised safety and traffic flow concerns, and have raised them with the Regional Transport Infrastructure Steering Group.
In a statement to Port News, council said "our teams have received a number of customer enquiries this month regarding the intersection of King Creek Road and the Oxley Highway. The key concerns being about congestion and safety."
"While we hear the concerns of our community, addressing this issue is a complex matter as the two intersecting roads fall under separate care.
"The Mayor wrote to Leslie Williams MP in November 2020, seeking assistance in advocating for upgrades to this intersection.
"Ms Williams advised she meets regularly with the Minister for Roads Paul Toole and Anna Zycki, regional director north for Transport for NSW to discuss and advocate for improvements to a range of local roads, including this location.
"The last advice Council received from Transport for NSW was that feasibility options were still being investigated.
"We will continue to seek updates through Transport for NSW on this matter through our regular meetings and discussions and will inform the community as we are made aware of any progress."
To sign the petition CLICK HERE.