Rutherglen street has no room for cyclists

CYCLIST Helen Chambers, knocked off her bike in a terrifying ordeal in Rutherglen’s Main Street, is calling for trucks to be removed from the centre of town.

Nursing a sprained ankle and severe bruising yesterday, Mrs Chambers recalled Friday’s frightening encounter.

The Rutherglen resident had been riding up Main Street to meet other cyclists for a coffee when she heard the rumble of a semi-trailer behind her.

“The truck just kept coming and coming,” she said.

“I tried to get out of the way by pulling into a car park.

“I was scared and I was trying to save my life.”

The airflow from the semi-trailer overtaking Mrs Chambers caused her to wobble, hit the truck’s back wheel, and fall on the road.

“As I have fallen, I hit the back wheel and it has thrown me over and on to the road,” she said.

“Something has to be done to get these trucks out of our main street, it’s not safe.”

Mrs Chambers was taken to hospital where she spent the night and X-rays were taken.

The truck driver did stop to check on her welfare.

Mrs Chambers is the sister-in-law of Indigo councillor Don Chambers, who has long been a campaigner for a truck bypass and other ways to make Main Street safer.

The incident has left him furious.

“The only time we fix our roads or get a bypass is when people start getting killed,” Cr Chambers said.

“It shouldn’t have to come to this.

“We almost had a tragedy, let this be a wake-up call.”

Cr Chambers yesterday inspected the spot where the incident occurred.

“The road is littered with potholes,” he said.

“The potholes have been reported to the shire to take it up with VicRoads, but the real issue is the trucks coming along a narrow street with cars parked either side.”

Indigo Council is pursuing safety options.

It delayed some projects to start working on possibilities for improving street safety.

Indigo hopes to use $300,000 in government grants and $100,000 from ratepayers to go ahead with the street upgrade — after extensive public consultation on issues such as improving off street parking and a second pedestrian crossing.

Cr Chambers said council was aware of the problem but the money for a bypass was not on the cards at the moment.