By Rowan Forster
Cockatoo’s road action task force (CRAG21) has taken aim at the State Government, fighting for ambitious upgrades to Wellington Road.
The thoroughfare, between Napoleon Road and Berwick Road, carries more than 10,000 vehicles per day and serves as a critical link between the Casey and Cardinia regions.
CRAG21 head Sue Wales has floated duplication as a potential remedy, given it is currently limited to a single lane.
‘’The number counts are at the upper limit for single lane roads and the continued growth must be acknowledged and planning commenced in the short term,” she said.
“Even with an immediate commitment, it will be a couple of years before works can be completed.
There hasn’t been one action to improve capacity along this section in the past ten years.”
Roughly 10 kilometres in length, the road services commuters from the Knox council area who are travelling to Berwick, Emerald and Cockatoo.
It comes as a change of direction for the resident-formed group, which originally identified the smaller Fern Gully Road, Neville Street and Maurice Street as priorities.
The renewed focus is a result of the community’s input – with many commuters flagging Wellington Road as problematic.
“From a benefit-cost viewpoint the project must rate highly because no land acquisition is needed and the benefits in travel times and safety will be substantial,” Mrs Wales said.
“Currently any blockage caused by a breakdown or accident could close the road with motorists having no alternate road to get through”.
The road was host to a fatal collision in February, when a woman was hit while she was stopped at a red light.
Drivers were quick to criticise the road after the incident.
“It’s nowhere near wide enough for the amount of cars that use it,” Daniel Crofts said.
“There’s a lot of near head-on collisions because people try to overtake on the wrong side of the road.”