Safety not VicRoads' priority: residents

MARONG residents say VicRoads are ignoring their concerns over safety, with roadworks paving the way for a planned subdivision.

Construction of new entrance and exit points along the Calder Alternate highway has already begun, prompting opposition from residents who fear it will create further traffic hazards.

Marong Community Action Group president Bert Roberts said despite meetings with VicRoads representatives this week, there were “ongoing fears”.

“I thought after putting our points forward about safety, and trucks doing U-turns, that they might listen. But they seem to be sticking to their guns. It’s a little disappointing.”

VicRoads regional director Mal Kersting defended the work and met Bendigo councillors and council staff this week to explain the plans.

Mr Kersting said VicRoads needed to maintain the current plans for a one way service road, in line with the plans of developers.

“The new subdivision has the potential to triple the amount of houses in the area,” he said.

“We need traffic adjustments to allow for a better traffic arrangements. We want to consider local residents but also make sure we can have developments.”

Councillor Elise Chapman said the designs were short sighted and weren’t as safe or free-flowing as they could be.

Cr Chapman likened the issue to a David and Goliath battle between residents and VicRoads.

“I will certainly be lobbying higher than VicRoads. They appear to be entirely inflexible... I’ll keep fighting and see how it goes.”

While the roadworks are being carried out VicRoads has extended a 60km/h zone 200 metres along the highway.


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