YOU asked for it! VicRoads is going to exhaustive lengths to get community feedback on what they’d like to see happen to the Bass Highway between the Anderson Roundabout and Leongatha.
But be careful what you wish for, as they say.
Because in response to criticism about a perceived lack of consultation by the state roads’ authority with the community and relevant stakeholders, an issue that will be high on the agenda in a Parliamentary inquiry into VicRoads’ management of country roads which is going on at the moment, the authority has $1/2 million to spend just for the consultation and planning part of the ‘Bass Highway Corridor Planning’ project.
That’s before they even fill a pothole or paint a line.
And as part of that end-to-end consultation process, VicRoads was out in force at the Kilcunda Lobster Festival last Sunday, right beside the Bass Highway, listening to what people had to say.
And the people gave their engagement officers Michael Mattingley and Natalie Szabo plenty, much of it as it turned out related to problems along the highway at Kilcunda itself.
According to VicRoads’ officials at the information stand, themes have been many and varied at the consultation sessions to date.
“We’ve got an interactive map with pins and most of the pins, understandably today, have been in and around Kilcunda,” said a spokesperson.
“They are concerned about the pedestrian access across the road between the town and the shops and the foreshore and rail trail side.
“They wanted to make the point about a lack of parking in front of the hotel and also along the beaches. They think access to those carparks needs to be improved and we have already been talking to the Bass Coast Shire about that and other issues up and down the highway.
“They have made the point to us that Bass Coast is one of the fastest growing areas in the state and we’re looking at how we can better cater to that.”
Other issues already raised about the Bass Highway include:
• A better safety strategy including wider shoulders for cyclists,
• The narrow road reserve and poor condition of the pavement between Inverloch and Leongatha,
• The use of the road by larger agricultural machinery and transports,
• The dangerous situation that exists at the intersection of Outtrim Road and the highway at Leongatha (scene of a fatality),
* No overtaking lanes in the Kilcunda to Dalyston section,
• Lack of organisation and definition where the road passes through Dalyston,
• Consideration of duplication to Wonthaggi.
And that’s just for starters.
VicRoads will be meeting with more stakeholders and community groups in the weeks and months ahead and they would also like to hear from you if you have suggestions about what should be included in the plan to upgrade the Bass Highway.
To participate in the Bass Highway Corridor Planning go to https://engage.vicroads.vic.gov.au/ there you will find this and other studies to interest local residents and other road users.