THE Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath, is calling on the state government to fast-track upgrades to Leongatha’s notorious South Gippsland Highway intersection.

The road interconnects Roughead Street, McCartin Street, the South Gippsland Highway and the Great Southern Rail Trail.

Raising community concerns in Victorian Parliament, Ms Bath demanded the Minister for Roads urgently fix the perilous intersection, echoing the concerns of her Nationals colleague, Member for Gippsland South, Danny O’Brien.

“Increased road traffic in Leongatha and an increase in walkers and cyclists on the incredibly popular Great Southern Rail Trail has continued to compound the multiple safety issues faced by the local community,” Ms Bath said.

“A heavy vehicle bypass was mooted to get trucks out of Bair Street but has created a new problem.

“Attempts to improve road safety by Regional Roads Victoria have failed, much to the frustration of locals.”

Ms Bath said the intersection was a nightmare to navigate.

She said it was highly dangerous and very confusing for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists alike.

“Many locals actively avoid the poorly designed intersection, however, for unsuspecting visitors to Leongatha, it presents safety challenges regardless whether you’re a motorist, a pedestrian or a cyclist,” she said.

Ms Bath said the dangerous intersection was not a new hazard; the Leongatha bypass plans were drawn up 20 years ago when she was a local small business owner.

“Frustratingly for locals, the heavy vehicle bypass is only half finished and Regional Roads Victoria needs to get on with stage 2 to fix this dodgy intersection,” she said.

“If this was a level crossing in Melbourne, this unsafe Leongatha intersection would be long gone.”