Member for Gippsland South and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan has welcomed the awarding of a contract that work will see work begin on the Princes Highway duplication between Traralgon and Sale.
Mr Ryan said construction of the Traralgon East Section was now set to commence in early 2010, while preconstruction works on the Wurruk Section, between Wurruk and Sale were already underway.
“The duplication of the Princess Highway will provide great benefit to the people of Gippsland, and particularly those living east of Traralgon,” Mr Ryan said.
“It will provide greater safety for commuters and transports operators, it will significantly decrease travel times and further open Gippsland up for further business and tourism.
“It will also provide a great boost for businesses in Sale and surrounding towns which will be ideally positioned to cater for the increased trade from motorists ending their journey after about two hours of freeway driving.”
But Mr Ryan said while the initial stages of construction had begun, he would continue his fight to see the Reid Drive/Sovereign Estate bus stop in Wurruk moved away from the planned dual lane freeway.
Last Wednesday Mr Ryan met with around 30 residents from Reid Drive/Sovereign Estate concerned about the position of the bus stop, which is presently located on the south side of the Princes Highway in Wurruk, adjacent to Reid Drive.
Unless the planned position of the bus stop is moved, children living in Reid Drive/Sovereign Estate will be forced to cross the dual lane freeway to catch their school bus.
“There is a simple solution to this problem. The bus can easily travel a route accessed by Reid Drive and ensure the children are able to safely use the service,” Mr Ryan said.
“In an age when accidents too frequently occur involving buses, children and vehicles, it is the sensible thing to do.”
Mr Ryan has met with VicRoads and made representations to the Department of Transport urging them to move the bus stop off the new freeway, however both entities at present are unwilling to change the proposed arrangements.
“It is important we use a bit of common sense and put this bus stop in a position which provides the greatest level of safety for these kids,” Mr Ryan said.
“While the duplication is a great project which I strongly support, the government needs to intervene and allow this bus stop to be moved to provide for the safety of the kids and the peace of mind of their parents.”