No 'love' for Yarra Valley roads
Thursday, 16 July 2020
By Jed Lanyon
The Victorian Government announced $20 million in funding will go towards upgrading several regional roads across Victoria, but Evelyn MP Bridget Vallence said it’s “a slap in the face” for Yarra Ranges residents, who won’t see any of their roads upgraded under the new program.
New Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Ben Carroll announced the funding will upgrade safety at twenty precincts across regional Victoria under the ‘Safe Travel in Local Streets’ program that will work with councils and communities to improve high-risk local roads.
Geelong, Bendigo, Warrnambool, Portland, Port Fairy, Mildura, Shepparton, Mooroopna, Traralgon, Morwell, Moe, Warragul, Drouin and Sale are all set to benefit from the funding.
The safety upgrades include building new roundabouts, traffic islands, bicycle lanes, speed humps, raised intersections, pedestrian crossings and is expected to be completed by mid-2021.
“This new program is part of our strong investment into reducing road trauma across regional Victoria – and is about making sure we improve safety across the entire network, including council roads,” Mr Carroll said.
But Ms Vallence, who has been advocating for safety upgrades to several local roads, said the Yarra Valley is being ignored.
“It’s outrageous that not one cent of the $20 million in new road funding has been allocated to improving the safety of any roads in the Yarra Ranges. Not one cent,” said Ms Vallence.
“I’ve been pleading with the Roads Minister, on behalf of the community, for years and years for urgent roads funding, particularly for the Warburton Highway, Maroondah Highway and Melba Highway. All these Yarra Valley roads are notorious accident hot spots, and require serious safety upgrades.
“In his first real test as the new Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Ben Carroll has failed to listen to the pleas of Yarra Valley residents.”
Road upgrades are currently taking place along the Maroondah Highway between Healesville and Coldstream that will see intersection improvements at Tarrawarra Road, Domain Chandon, Maddens Lane and Maxwell Road.
This includes the installation of left hand side barriers, wide centre line treatment, centreline rumble strips and a reduction in the speed limit.
For a full list of the regional road projects visit www.regionalroads.vic.gov.au.