THE recent collision on the Phillip Island Tourist has once again opened debate about traffic flow and road safety on the Island.
The Phillip Island Tourist road was closed in both directions on May 21 after a car accident involving two vehicles blocked the road, leaving the greater island community stranded for seven hours.
Many drivers hunkered down on the side of the road, waiting out the night as the road was made safe again, while others flocked to local businesses such as Cape Kitchen to pass the night.
Locals are now questioning the safety of the road, and the viability of only having a single road leading on and off Phillip Island.
A Facebook page has been created, ‘Roundabout for Cape Woolamai’ calling on VicRoads to take action by putting in a roundabout at the Phillip Island Tourist Road and Woolamai Beach Road.
Others in the community are suggesting the construction of another arterial road for Phillip Island, taking into consideration the high amounts of traffic heading on and off the island during peak periods.
VicRoads has responded to the collision, posting a statement on its Facebook page.
“We are aware of the recent accident that occurred on Phillip Island Road at Cape Woolamai intersection.
“VicRoads investigates all serious injury crashes on our roads and will be advising the community once we have more information.
“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those who were involved.”
VicRoads Eastern Region Regional Director Scott Lawrence commented on the call for improvements to be made to the Phillip Island Tourist Road.
“VicRoads understands the need for improvements to Phillip Island Road and that long term planning for the road network is crucial to the Island’s future and its status as the state’s number one tourism destination,” Mr Lawrence said.
The Phillip Island community identified road safety, access and traffic flow as priority issues for the island through the Phillip Island Integrated Transport Study (PIITS) that was adopted in 2014.
Three key intersections were identified as priorities with Woolamai Beach Road being one of those.
VicRoads, in partnership with Bass Coast Shire Council and with the support of the PIITS Community Reference Group has been investigating treatments at three key intersections on Phillip Island Road at Woolamai Beach Road, Back Beach Road and Boys Home Road.
“We are currently preparing a business case that will seek funding to implement proposed improvements which include intersection upgrades.
The development of PIITS – which is community driven – continues to provide the framework for improved transport treatments across the island now and into the future,” Mr Lawrence said.
“Emergency situations such as the incident that occurred on Saturday night are managed by Victoria Police and the emergency services. When requested, VicRoads will assist with traffic management.”
All but one of the injured people involved in last Saturday’s collision have been released from hospital.
Detectives from the Major Collision Unit are still investigating the incident.
A caller to the Sentinel-Times has rejected allegations that the driver of one of the vehicles involved had been cautioned by police earlier in the evening.
Police have not commented further on the matter.