MARONG Community Action Group say they have been “beaten out by bureaucracy” after calls for a two-lane service road on the Calder Highway were rejected.
The group's president Bert Roberts said they did all they could to raise safety concerns over access to the service road on the eastern side of the highway.
Mr Roberts said the group feared the single-lane access could pose traffic congestion and hazards for trucks attempting U-turns.
He said their calls for a review had ultimately been overlooked.
The service road, leading to a new subdivision, will go ahead as one lane following approval by the City of Greater Bendigo council.
A last-minute intervention from Victorian transport minister Terry Mulder urged councillors to maintain the initial plan for one-way access.
Mr Roberts said it was a disappointing result.
He said councillors had been receptive, but the ultimate decision was up to the department of transport and VicRoads.
“You can’t beat bureaucracy,” he said. “That’s their decision, so be it."
"I think that will be the end of it.
"From a community point of view, the council did have a motion earlier in the year where they listened and supported the residents’ desires. What more can they do?”
A report from City of Greater Bendigo staff recommended councillors vote to make the road single lane, in light of the transport minister’s views.
You can't beat bureacracy
Councillor Elise Chapman accused the council of not lobbying hard enough on behalf of residents.
She said at last week's council meeting they had been "steam-rolled" in the decision process.
VicRoads regional director Mal Kersting said safety was the biggest priority in having one-way entry and exit points to the existing service road.
Residents and VicRoads at odds
Mr Kersting said VicRoads was aware of some community concerns regarding entry and exit points.
But he said the single lane was the best solution to managing what is expected to be a major increase in traffic in the area.
The Marong Links Estate development will create a subdivision with 139 lots.
“It will effectively triple the number of residences within the central Marong area,” Mr Kersting said. "The traffic is already steadily growing and the increase in traffic from this new development will impact on traffic movements.
“These recommendations will bring the road into line with the safety requirements that meet the expected usage over coming years.”
VicRoads have also recommended installing a new turning lane into the development.