Residents "disappointed" over Dardanup councils decision to keep Panizza Road open

"Close the road": Anthea Waller with her miniature ponies, Ruby Tuesday and Chevy, who she walks on Panizza Road. Photo: Pip Waller.

Panizza Road residents say they are disappointed and concerned over a decision made by the Dardanup shire council that will see the road remain open as a popular thoroughfare for traffic.

The road, which Panizza Road resident Andrea Waller said had become a popular shortcut, is located in Dardanup West, and connects Crooked Brook and Depiazzi Roads.

Issues raised by residents include dust generated by large trucks who travel up to 100km/hr over the unsealed section of the road, the narrow width of the road and hoons who create noise, disturbing residents and animals.

A damaged bridge at the Crooked Brook Road entrance to the road, which residents believe was caused by a truck trying to negotiate the "awkward intersection", is also causing safety concerns, Ms Waller said.

Panizza Road residents say the bridge was damaged by a vehicle "months ago", and that the red tape was placed on the bridge shortly after.

Panizza Road residents say the bridge was damaged by a vehicle "months ago", and that the red tape was placed on the bridge shortly after.

Ms Waller, who moved to Panizza Road in 2013, said seven of the eight residents of the road wanted it shut to the public.

"This road was only intended to give access to the eight properties that are on the road, not used as a thoroughfare," Ms Waller said.

"The speed limit is 110 and the road is so narrow that not even two SUV's can pass each other.

"So we are scared of getting cleaned up.

"It's one of those 'first world problems' to save time, when really it's not that hard to go around."

The Dardanup council discussed the potential closure of the road at its meeting on November 24 after resident Mark Panizza in April put in a proposal to close the thoroughfare.

According to a council report, the shire has been receiving formal requests to close the road since 1998.

Ross Ferguson, who owns Lot 2 Banksia Road, spoke at the meeting as the eighth resident.

"It's one of those 'first world problems' to save time, when really it's not that hard to go around."

Panizza Road resident, Andrea Waller

He expressed safety concerns over the road being closed if there was to be a fire in the area.

"If we get an easterly it will be very difficult to get away if the proposed section of road is closed as our escape routes will most likely be where the fire is coming in from," Mr Ferguson said.

"To escape a fire we will have to drive right around Dardanup to get away."

The original officer recommendation was that the council close the thoroughfare through Panizza Road on the west side of the Banksia Road intersection, and install a gate that can be opened in the event of an emergency such as a bush fire.

However during discussion, councillor Janice Dow moved the alternative motion to keep Panizza Road open but upgrade and seal it next financial year.

Tyre marks from vehicles having to turn widely onto Panizza Road.

Tyre marks from vehicles having to turn widely onto Panizza Road.

The alternate motion also requested the chief executive carry out survey, design, environmental assessments and cost estimations of upgrading the road.

Councilor Ellen Lilly seconded the motion, adding the request for the chief executive to also investigate speed restrictions and surveillance on the road.

The alternative resolution was carried seven to two with shire president Michael Bennett and deputy shire president Tyrrell Gardiner voting against.

Ms Waller told the Mail she believed resurfacing and improving the road was not going to fix the dangers to residents in the area.

When the Mail investigated, the damaged bridge, which is the responsibility of Water Corporation as it runs over a water irrigation channel, will be fixed by the end of December.

Water Corporation South West regional manager Nicola Waite said Water Corporation was aware of the state of the bridge, but shortages of materials and labour has resulted in delays.