BEATING the traffic, on or off Phillip Island last weekend, was nigh on impossible with vehicles banking up, back to Koo Wee Rup from as early as 1pm on Thursday, before the Easter break.
It was pretty much the same on Easter Monday with cars backed back almost all the way to Cowes before getting over the bridge and then reaching a bottleneck again at the Lang Lang and Koo Wee Rup roundabouts.
It’s always been a busy time on the roads but local businessman, Greg Price, doesn’t believe it has to be as bad as it is.
“They should certainly have the ‘blue line’ operating on these peak weekends but what Phillip Island and Bass Coast really needs is a proper traffic management plan,” Mr Price said.
“The Bass Coast Shire Council says highway traffic isn’t its problem but the fact is the shire should be advocating on our behalf, to VicRoads and the State Government, for the funding of a traffic management plan.
“There’s a lot that could be done to disperse the traffic when it gets on to the island, by the use of electronic signs directing traffic down alternative routes, like Rhyll-Newhaven Road and Coghlan Road.
“We’re also told, that a few years ago when they made the alterations to the San Remo Bridge, that they could have put the pedestrian pathway on the outside of the bridge and made it a three-lane for traffic.
“The point is something has to be done.
“You don’t want the situation where people say ‘bugger Phillip Island and Bass Coast, we’re not going there again’ because of the traffic situation.”
There’s also the issue of a car ferry to Cowes, shelved some years ago after locals protested about the preferred location for the terminal.
Get the message
Once again, the Facebook website ‘Phillip Island Traffic Check’ did an excellent job of keeping travellers informed and also providing a forum for feedback.
Their consistent warning about travelling outside of peak times – between 11am and 5.30pm is the way to go, but not everyone can do it.
Here are some examples of posts:
• Thursday, April 24, 1.55pm. Traffic backed back on Clyde Rd to get onto the Sth Gippy and then at a standstill to get out of Caldermeade BP, Island bound. Taken over one hour to get from Berwick to Caldermeade so far.
• Thursday, April 24, 4.05pm. There’s been a 3 car accident near Punchbowl Road just before San Remo. Traffic is slow to that point, but is slowly flowing again once passed the scene.
• Monday, April 28, 13.30pm. Traffic now banked up to the Koala Park. It’s currently taking 49 minutes to reach San Remo. Can anyone tell us if the car accident scene passed Cape Woolamai is cleared yet please?
• Monday, April 28, 1.15pm. Traffic is slow & banked up at the Lang Lang & Koo Wee Rup roundabouts, & also before Tooradin at the road works where two lanes are merging into one.
There’s little doubt that such traffic problems take away from the experience for many, according to Mr Price.