TOURISTS and the local Bass Coast community are banding together on Facebook to help each other avoid busy summer traffic.
Beachgoers on their way to Phillip Island have been posting regular traffic updates to the ‘Phillip Island Traffic Check’ Facebook page to help spread out the amount of traffic heading to Phillip Island.
It’s most useful when there’s an accident or heavy traffic and motorists are better off delaying the drive for a couple of hours, says Facebook page founder and Phillip Island resident Nina Burns.
Although she’s temporarily staying in Castlemaine, Nina still manages to help out motorists three hours away because there’s so many people on their way to Phillip Island willing to provide updates.
“It was just set up for a couple of friends because getting from one place to another was really difficult,” she said.
“I dropped off the kids in Melbourne in summer, I think it was around Boxing Day 2014, and I sat at Bass and it took me around an hour and a half to get back home.
“If someone had told me it was that bad, I wouldn’t have gone, I would’ve stayed in Melbourne and had dinner.”
After the lengthy trip home, Nina started the Facebook page and within two days, it had more than 300 followers.
“It’s just flourished. It’s created a community where we’re relying on everybody for information.
“I think part of the problem is that there’s nowhere for the traffic to go, it just gets banked up.”
Nina says VicRoads and the local council could work together to open up the bike track along Phillip Island Road as an additional lane in case there’s an accident on Phillip Island.
“For most of the year, there’d be bollards on the track and you couldn’t drive down it, but when the road is shut for 12 hours, it would make sense for traffic to go down there.
“It would be fully policed, like when there’s roadworks and you drive at next to no speed.”
Nina works closely with local police and other emergency services to get key safety messages to motorists.
She often encourages drivers to bring extra water, food and if there’s a young one, baby formula, in case there are delays going to Phillip Island.