FLAT out of luck, regular cyclist and bike shop mechanic at Wheel Heat in Wonthaggi, Morgan Barnes, is dismayed by the state of our area’s roads – particularly in the town’s CBD.
Travelling through the main street of Wonthaggi in a car it is obvious the roads are in bad shape. On bicycles it’s a serious hazard.
“Hundreds of cyclists use this route each week,” Morgan says, adding that they’ve been disregarded for “too long”.
“The section of road around the town’s most central roundabout is a joke, it seems whoever is responsible has fallen well behind on repairs.”
The road specifically is part of the C435 travelling through Wonthaggi, is a ‘state route’ and therefore VicRoads’ responsibility.
“The pothole is big enough to park a toy truck in, and it’s in the middle of town.
“Goes to show how much concern the Council has for our roads.
“This is a central part of the problem, but around the area, there are all sorts of traffic hazards that really put a strain on what can be done safely on a bike.
“Outside of town, many developments have completed works on kerb sides, but the way they impose on the road makes it dangerous for a cyclist who must merge onto the main road.
“It’s clear that investment in bike safety pays dividends to health and the environment, it’s time our council made this a focus.
“With council focussing on outdoor activity, it doesn’t make sense that there has been no real development in cycle lanes or bike paths.
“Growing up in Leongatha, they have the ‘school boys trail’, which is a 5km loop around the town.
“This has a safe cycling shoulder, was planned to avoid intersections and suited cyclists from moderate to advanced skill that wanted to ride on roads without the constant concern of cars.
“It wasn’t separated from roads, and the locality meant it was easily accessible and close to services if you got a flat tyre or it started to rain.
“Wonthaggi has a rich cycling history that has been basically forgotten about, many international riders used to visit the town competing against locals, who’d often beat them.”
Regional director – Eastern Victoria at Regional Roads Victoria (RRV – formerly VicRoads), Sara Rhodes-Ward, says rural highways are routinely inspected.
“Our crews routinely monitor this road, undertaking fortnightly inspections of the roundabout to identify any potential hazards and repair them as soon as possible,” Ms Rhodes-Ward said.
“Last financial year, RRV rebuilt sections of key roads across Bass Coast including Loch-Wonthaggi Road, Bakers Road, and Bass Highway.
“These roads deliver smoother, safer and more reliable roads for local drivers.
“On top of this we encourage the community to report any hazards across our entire network by calling our dedicated hotline on 133 778.”