RESIDENTS of a Kangaroo Flat housing estate are calling for a second road exit from the area, claiming they are effectively trapped when trying to exit onto High Street.
More than 300 people live in the Byambee Rises Estate bordering the south side of Lansell Square, but all must rely on Medika Avenue to exit the area – the same intersection as a designated High Street U-turn spot.
They presented a petition to the City of Greater Bendigo earlier this year, and have since been told there are no current plans to upgrade roads in the area.
Resident Joyce Lowe said with more and more land being developed for housing alongside High Street in Kangaroo Flat, changes were needed sooner rather than later. A further 23 houses will be added to the estate in the next few years.
She said providing residents access to Railway Street – which runs along the back of the estate, but is not connected – was an obvious solution.
“Getting safely onto the highway is our number one priority and allowing us to access Railway Street would have solved everything,” she said.
“We don’t care if it’s a one-way street or just graded and gravel, as long as we can exit the estate and join the highway safely at the lights.”
Instead of sealing Railway Street, the council chose to encourage VicRoads to investigate another U-turn between Lansell Square and Medika Avenue, but the idea is not eligible for funding.
In his report to council, manager of engineering and public space Brett Martini said the fire danger was not great enough to warrant sealing Railway Street.
“Construction of Railway Street has been considered for construction but [was] not a high priority compared with other projects based on the evaluation criteria,” he wrote.
“An additional U-turn facility would be of benefit, with the level of that benefit depending on the facility's location along High Street.
“VicRoads are supportive inprinciple of this facility; however they have advised that the proposed project is not eligible for funding under current programs.”
The Byambee Rises Estate was developed in 2005 and now has almost 200 premises.
Cars regularly queue at the Medika Avenue-High Street intersection attempting to exit, but those heading north into Bendigo must wait for traffic to complete U-turns and for both directions to be clear.
Resident Dennis Robinson was among the first to move into the area, and said there was always an assumption that a second exit would be opened up.
“We thought there was going to be another point into the estate,” he said.
“We did a lot of work lobbying the council early on, but didn’t get anywhere.”
Other residents described feeling “trapped” in the area, and their efforts to turn right were a “nightmare”.
More residential developments are planned further south on High Street in the coming years.
Ms Lowe said they would continue to lobby council until a long-term solution was found.