Driver reviver should return to Marong site

CONFUSION over roadworks at Marong left the town without its usual Driver Reviver rest stop for the Australia Day long weekend.

The Lions Club and SES - who jointly run the van - said they were hopeful the rest stop would be back for the Labour Day weekend in March.

This year was the first time in more than 20 years that the van giving out free tea and coffee was not parked at the Calder Alternate Highway site for Australia Day.

Bendigo Lions Club coordinator Bob Haigh said the change to the service lane in Marong had created issues. He said the new road, coupled with the move of the local SES unit to a new building, meant they were unable to organise the Driver Reviver site in time.

"It should have gone ahead," he said.

"It was a bit disappointing with it not happening. Everything was ready to go but we had to have everything right in place."

Mr Haigh said there were questions about whether they would get enough traffic coming through, now that the service lane has become one lane instead of two.

He said the group had also made an oversight in not asking the City of Greater Bendigo - who own the toilet stop - about gaining access to the site by last Friday.

"I had been trying to follow up, and I think if I contacted the council early enough it would have gone ahead," he said.

A City of Greater Bendigo spokeswoman said the group only needed to ask for permission to use the site, which would have been approved.

Mr Haigh said the van was a vital part of promoting driver safety for people travelling long distances.

He said he was confident the van would be back on the site, or at a different Marong location in March.

A Driver Reviver site was set up at Lions Park, High Street in Huntly over the weekend.

Marong SES unit controller Kevin Cahill said the Driver Reviver was a great project. He said it was often hard to get volunteers to run it, but said he was confident it would be well supported.

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