Roadside barriers do not deliver on safety

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

THE VicRoads upgrade of the Maffra-Sale Rd has been done to the bare minimum of what was required, and does not either deal with safety now or safety in the future.

If there was a requirement for four metres from the white line to the guard rail with minimal fall back to three metres, then most of the road complies with only three metres and occasional extension to four.

There has been no recognition of the basic need to allow traffic to join or leave the road safely, no turning lanes added anywhere, or decent widths to allow slowing to enter private driveways.

The only provision for that was the Sale bypass at Myrtlebank, which was already there before this latest upgrade.

The heavy traffic use of this road was already known by VicRoads, and would have been blatantly obvious to the contracted crews doing all the work, who dealt with such queues of waiting traffic for months on end.

I am sure they would have been able to tell VicRoads that what they were building was grossly inadequate.

None of the road edges allow safe use for cyclists on road bikes, only for mountain bikes, which are unlikely to reduce commuter numbers — ever.

The upgraded road does have a benefit of being like an airport runway at night and allowing people to find their driveways and side roads more easily even in fog, however the stress of leaving and joining the traffic flow and changing speed between zero and 100kmh is unchanged by this paltry ‘upgrade’.

Finding a gap in the traffic long enough to allow a seamless entry is often fraught and ‘planting your foot’ is often required.

I went to the ‘community liaison’ at the Bundalaguah Hall and informed the VicRoads representatives of the problem at the Montgomery Rd intersection where the second bogey of trucks were travelling over a metre deep drain when turning left.

Now the second bogies are travelling straight over a raised concrete sump, and still flattening the guide post in the same spot.

The wheel tracks were, and are still visible, for anyone to see.

Was this just a sham liaison with locals?

The Montgomery corner is used by much of the bypass traffic, yet there is no turning lane, as there is at Myrtlebank, so lots of squealing tyres and honking horns indicate an accident waiting to happen.

Why have the many years of requests to VicRoads for a safe cycling track between Maffra and Sale been totally ignored?

This was a chance to put one in beside the road, but now the only option is one on the other side of the guard rail, preferably with access for emergency vehicles too.

It’s too late to undo what has been such a cheap and shonky job, to make the road what it could have been.

However to lower the speed limit to 90kmh for the entire road might actually deliver the safer outcome needed for everyone.