By Jade Lawton
CONGESTION on Clyde Road is costing Berwick time and money, but work on the bottleneck may not start for months.
With grade separation on Springvale Road, Nunawading, completed this month, La Trobe MP Jason Wood is calling for action on Clyde Road – a project that was announced at the same time as works on Springvale Road in 2007.
The State Government allocated $1 million to investigate duplicating the bottleneck but has not publicly confirmed if or when work will start.
“It seems really unfair that Springvale Road was announced at the same time and is now completed, and here there has not been one sod of soil turned,” Mr Wood said.
“At this stage it is simply a broken promise.”
Berwick Village Chamber of Commerce president Harry Hutchinson said congestion on Clyde Road was costing Berwick millions in lost revenue.
“We believe Clyde Road is a priority in the region. It is affecting businesses on and off Clyde Road,” he said.
“At peak times, why would you come through Berwick?
“You notice a drop of trade during peak hours and it is really affecting businesses to the tune of millions.”
Mr Hutchinson said he expected work would have commenced by now.
“People who have appointments, hair or banking, are always running late. Professionals are charging top dollar, they have a schedule and their clients are always 10 minutes late,” he said.
“It is a major bone of contention … I would have expected work to at least have started by now. Springvale’s done and we should be the number one priority.”
But a State Government spokesman said the government was working towards solving the bottleneck and installed traffic lights at the corner of Enterprise Avenue in 2008.
“The government has also funded an $828,000 project to extend an existing right lane, construct an additional right turning lane and fully control right turns into Kangan Drive from Clyde Road. Works were completed in July 2009,” he said.
“Under the Victorian Transport Plan, $1 million has also been allocated to investigate a future duplication of Clyde Road between High Street and Kangan Drive, including possible improvements to the High Street/Clyde Road intersection and the potential for grade separation of the railway line.
“Proposals for improvement projects must be considered and evaluated on a statewide basis and any improvements to Clyde Road will be considered in this context.”
Mr Wood encouraged residents to keep campaigning for action on the road.
“For Clyde Road to go ahead residents need to use their voice and make a change,” he said.
By Jade Lawton