THE new Anderson Street-Roughead Street intersection in Leongatha has been the scene of mass confusion since traffic conditions changed last week.
Where once cars would have the right of way coming down the hill from the Bair Street-McCartin Street roundabout, drivers must now give way just past the old court house to Melbourne-bound vehicles travelling on the new alternate heavy vehicle route.
The problem is that cars are banking up back towards and into the roundabout.
Drivers waiting at the new intersection are unsure whether oncoming traffic coming up the hill is going straight into the town centre, or will turn in front of them via the bypass, when technically, drivers are not required to indicate.
Many trucks coming into town from the Korumburra side, wishing to turn into McCartin Street and towards Inverloch, are avoiding the intersection altogether, turning right at the police station, heading past Woolworths and into the residential areas via Smith Street.
As of yesterday afternoon, there’d been no reports to police of accidents at the scene, despite the busy Cup Weekend traffic.
But you only have to stand at the front of the old court house during peak times and you’ll see the confusion on drivers’ faces.
Fortunately, the hand communication required between drivers and some good will has done the trick so far.
Acting Sergeant of Bass Coast Highway Patrol Allan Piening said he’s heard the grumblings of drivers about the design of the new look intersection.
“You just have to slow down and have a good look. The signs and line marking are all there.
“We understand the design is not to everyone’s taste and it’s going to take time for the locals to adjust.”
He said he was aware of trucks avoiding a right turn into McCartin Street, and using Smith Street or other alternate routes.
“We are watching closely what happens there.”
Meanwhile, drivers seem to have adjusted to the changed traffic conditions at the other end of the alternate route, the intersection of Ogilvy Street and Koonwarra Road, which now has traffic lights.
VicRoads Eastern Region manager operations Henry Lam said works to construct the two new intersections are coming to a close, with new traffic signals installed and the majority of line marking completed.
“The first coat of line marking has been completed with a second coat to follow once weather conditions improve,” Mr Lam said.
“The completed intersection upgrades will provide increased safety, amenity and economic benefits to Leongatha by removing more than 600 heavy vehicles from the CBD each day.
“While VicRoads understands that it may take some time for road users to familiarise themselves with the upgrades, we ask that everyone using these intersections take care and be aware of the changed traffic conditions.
“We thank the community for their patience throughout the construction phase.”
Confusion at the junction