The Sentinel-Times in March asked for the peoples’ opinion on the final plan for the Leongatha bypass.
The main needs, as experienced, was to remove heavy traffic from the centre of town.
Last year I made a presentation to the council. I suggested that Leongatha had no heart only car parks and shops.
During the preparation I saw the early plan for the bypass displayed in the council office. I therefore included the important diversion advertised in my statement.
Interestingly the plaza requested has not been mentioned even though, in my opinion it is critically needed. Its absence represents a missed opportunity.
I list a number of criticisms of the explained shire/VicRoads intentions.
1) To remove the heavy traffic from Bair Street and leave the heavy traffic on McCartin Street makes no sense. Clearly certain vested interested parties have raised their partisan objections. We solve very little by dealing in half measures; the heavy traffic from the Inverloch area must be directed away from the centre, anything else is a strategic nonsense and a waste of money.
2) The South Gippsland Highway is still to use Andersons Street to then turn left over the railway line. What nonsense that is, and I have to ask, just who is pulling the strings? The highway must turn at Hughes and Turner streets, this will result in a more direct run along Hughes and Long streets. Half a diversion is still only half a diversion.
3) This better arrangement provides for local traffic only on Anderson Street, opening up this area for alternative developments.
4) The council, or whoever is really in charge, emphasises more car parking in Bair Street to encourage “rejuvenation”. I suggest there is already too much parking and cars. That is not to say that some intelligent, creative thinking could not better serve the parking needs; an increase in car parking is merely an increase, nothing more. It does not guarantee increases in shopping.
5) The reference to the right hand turn into Long Street; the problem of build up of traffic at the rail crossing and the mentioned Friday night congestion would not be a problem of the rail crossing was at Turner Street.
So, Scott Lawrence is appreciative of the support and feedback from the community which has, he says, been incorporated into the final design.
I must point out that my considerable investigations show that the final design is precisely the same as the original proposal.
Those four council representatives are welcome to feel proud of their half baked achievement.
May I point out that Mirboo North has similar heavy traffic problems along the main street.
Ron Brown, Mirboo
Bypass half baked