Removed but in good hands: Memorials on the New England Highway
Removed but in good hands: Memorials on the New England Highway Liana Walker

Crosses to be removed but in good hands

SEVERAL roadside memorial crosses have had to be removed as roadworks take place along the New England Highway.

However the one sign which remains is a sobering reminder there have been 26 fatalities along the stretch of road in the past five years.

The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) said it had done everything in its power to ensure the crosses were kept safe and secure during the period of road works and were working with families to have them reinstated in the areas they were originally placed.

"In cases where we haven't been able to make contact with people associated with a memorial, we remove and preserve it indefinitely at the relevant Department of Transport and Main Roads region or district office,” a TMR spokesperson said.

One of those people is April Townsend who lost her mother Lee Anne in 2010 in a crash at Severnlea. She was grateful to a passing motorist who stopped to share a photo of a letter TMR had attached to the crosses.

"A lady by the name of Sue Dean kindly stopped on the side and of the highway to take a photo and tell the families of the sadly taken about the removal, greatly appreciated to Sue Dean for this,” April said.

April has made arrangements to have her memorial taken care of at the TMR office in Warwick while the works are ongoing.

"Once they have completed roadworks, they are going to contact me and ask me where I would like it put, send me a photo of where they will put it and ask if I like where they put it,” she said.

Bekkah Hall was one of the founders of Brisbane and Surrounds Roadside Memorials.

Like April, Bekkah lost her father in a hit and run accident and placed a white cross at the location of the accident.

"It helps people be aware of the dangers out on the roads,” she said.

Bekkah said part of the cross's job was to help people be aware that death by roads was more common than people thought.

"It's to make people in the area think 'Hey look at your speedo, are you doing a couple of k's over? Slow down. Look at your surroundings, if its raining slow down' because it could happen to you.”

TMR stressed the importance of following correct procedures when placing the memorials to ensure safe keeping of the crosses during these instances. For more information visit tmr.qld.gov.au/Safety/Road- safety/Roadside-memorials.

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