This report is written as part of the Marong Road (Calder Highway) improvements planning project

Message from Regional Director – Northern

Roads are the lifeblood of our regional communities and Marong Road is no exception. A key part of the Calder Highway is connecting locals, visitors and primary producers to a rapidly growing Bendigo.

The Calder Highway links Melbourne to Bendigo, Mildura and the Victorian and New South Wales Border. It’s the 7.5 kilometres, from Ironbark to Maiden Gully, that’s been the focus of a 3 year planning study funded by the Victorian Government.

Over that time our planners, engineers and designers have been working with community and stakeholders on ways to improve traffic flow, safety and efficiency and what that might look like in 10 to 20 years from now.

At Regional Roads Victoria (part of the Department of Transport) we’re all about listening and hearing about your experiences using our roads. We’ve heard clearly how the community values the current native vegetation and the look and feel of Maiden Gully.

We’ve also heard that you want to move around using other transport modes including cycling and walking. That’s why we have deliberately designed and tested concepts to reflect what you’ve told us in our surveys and in person.

At the Department of Transport, we plan, build and operate an integrated, sustainable and safe transport system for Australia’s fastest-growing state. Our strategic plan ‘Simple, Connected Journeys’, is about the connection of people, to jobs, school, goods and services, and to each other.

We had an unprecedented response to our engagement activities and I’m delighted to provide this report so you can get a feel for what people have told us and how this feedback is shaping the planning for Bendigo’s future.

We appreciate our communities and stakeholders for participating in this important conversation about the future of Marong Road and thank everyone who has been a part of shaping these ideas.

Brian Westley
Regional Director – Northern

About the project

In September 2017 the Victorian Government announced a $3.5 million planning study to find out how to improve traffic flow and safety on Marong Road (Calder Highway) between Eaglehawk Road, Ironbark and Monsants Road, Maiden Gully.

The planning study has taken into consideration everyone’s needs by looking into:

  • current and future traffic volumes of vehicles
  • safety and accessibility
  • infrastructure for walking and cycling
  • improved freight efficiency.

Marong Road, part of the Calder Highway, is an important road connecting Bendigo to the western suburbs, Marong and north-western Victoria. Approximately 11,000 vehicles per day use this section of the highway.

Our planning and technical investigations have been complemented with input from City of Greater Bendigo, the Maiden Gully, Marong and surrounding communities, stakeholder groups and individuals to ensure the development of our plans address a broad range of issues and patterns of use.

The first round of consultation was held between December 2017 and February 2018 and the second round from October to November 2019. This report focuses on what you told us in October-November 2019.

Back to top

Why we engaged

Regional Roads Victoria (RRV), a part of the Department of Transport, recognises the importance of consulting with communities and stakeholders early and regularly throughout the phases of a planning study.

The feedback we received between December 2017 and February 2018 led us to drafting concepts for potential short, medium and long-term improvements to this section of the highway. We sought your feedback to these concepts in this October-November round of consultation.

Back to top

How we engaged

We designed our consultation so that as many people as possible could participate either online 24/7 or in person at a community session or stakeholder meeting.

Participants included:

  • residents
  • business operators
  • cycling groups
  • special interest groups
  • local and state governments
  • tourists
  • freight users.

 

3 engagement methods were used:

  • Online survey with interactive map of proposed improvements
  • Community drop-in to talk in person and be guided to complete the online survey
  • Meetings with stakeholder groups.
Back to top

How we communicated

We adopt a range of different communication channels to reach as many people as possible.

  • Website: overview of the planning study, details of community drop-in, registration details and link to interactive map.
  • Direct mail: postcard invitations mailed to residents and businesses in Golden Square, Ironbark, Maiden Gully and West Bendigo.
  • Newspaper advertisements: Bendigo Advertiser.
  • Facebook: 2 posts to promote consultation and engagement opportunities.
  • Media: media release about the planning study and how people could get involved.
  • Email: sent to people on the project mailing list.
Back to top

How you participated

Online

The online interactive map was visited by 2998 unique users a total of 7306 times. We received 460 completed surveys from 180 participants. Some people chose to email their feedback and left comments on Facebook. All comments have been included about Marong Road from Eaglehawk Road to Maiden Gully. Comments about other roads, intersections and issues not part of this planning study are being looked at separately.

In person

There were more than 95 people who attended the community drop-in session on 24 October at Bendigo Stadium. Attendees were able to view the proposed concepts and ask questions.

What you told us - themes and insights

10 interest areas were identified in previous consultation and outlined on an interactive map with surveys and artist impressions.

Shared user path

Part of the proposed concept is a shared user path from Eaglehawk Road, Ironbark to Monsants Road, Maiden Gully. 82% of comments liked the proposal. 6% didn’t like the proposal.

How supportive are you about the proposed shared path improvements between Eaglehawk Road and Monsants Road?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 6
Somewhat oppose 0
Neutral 0
Somewhat favour 6
Strongly favour 82
Blank 6

People suggested:

  • the proposed share user path connects with nearby paths
  • safer and fewer crossings over highway
  • encourage more walking and cycling for people of all ages and abilities
  • shared user path be sealed.
A shared user path is exactly what we need. The proposal looks fantastic.
There needs to be a practical connection to the Ironbark Gully Trail.
Back to top

Marong Road from Eaglehawk Road to Specimen Hill Road

Proposed concepts include improving intersection safety, shared user path and safer turning options. There were 29 respondents of which 21 provided further detail in comments. The intersections of Lily Street and Booth Street received the most comments.

We asked:

  • How supportive are you about the proposed pedestrian crossing improvements between Eaglehawk Road and Specimen Hill Road?
  • How supportive are you of the proposed intersection improvements between Eaglehawk Road and Specimen Hill Road?
  • How supportive are you of the proposed walking and cycling options between Eaglehawk Road and Specimen Hill Road?

Overall people indicated that they liked the proposals.

How supportive are you about the proposed pedestrian crossing improvements between Eaglehawk Road and Specimen Hill Road?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 10
Somewhat oppose 10
Neutral 3
Somewhat favour 24
Strongly favour 41
Blank 10
How supportive are you of the proposed intersection improvements between Eaglehawk Road and Specimen Hill Road?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 10
Somewhat oppose 14
Neutral 7
Somewhat favour 21
Strongly favour 38
Blank 10
How supportive are you of the proposed walking and cycling options between Eaglehawk Road and Specimen Hill Road?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 10
Somewhat oppose 7
Neutral 3
Somewhat favour 10
Strongly favour 59
Blank 10

What you told us:

  • 14% wanted safe crossings for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • 10% of comments supported signals although we did not propose them.
  • 10% of comments supported roundabouts although we did not propose them.
  • 7% commented about turning left.
  • 10% of comments referred to turning right. Some people were unsure about how the central median would impact them and other comments were about the changes in turning at intersections.
  • 7% of respondents wanted extra lanes on Marong Road. Our plans proposed one lane each way.
  • 7% of respondents commented wanted existing vegetation retained.
  • 6% of respondents were concerned with driver compliance and behaviour.
  • 6% of respondents discussed bus stops and public transport.
  • Respondents also commented on perceptions of safety, shared user paths and making no changes to the current road.
I ride a mobility scooter and crossing over [the highway] to come into town is very dangerous.
I’d like to see more frequent opportunities to turn.
Back to top

Rural section of Marong Road from Specimen Hill Road to Monsants Road

Proposed concepts include improving intersection safety, shared user paths and safer turning options. There were 38 survey respondents with 25 people providing comments.

The survey asked what you thought about the proposed intersection improvements, walking, cycling options and pedestrian crossings:

  • How supportive are you about the proposed pedestrian crossing improvements between Specimen Hill Road and Monsants Road?
  • How supportive are you of the proposed intersection improvements between Specimen Hill Road and Monsants Road?
  • How supportive are you of the proposed walking and cycling options between Specimen Hill Road and Monsants Road?

The results from the survey show that people generally like the proposed improvements.

How supportive are you about the proposed pedestrian crossing improvements between Specimen Hill Road and Monsants Road?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 3
Somewhat oppose 16
Neutral 5
Somewhat favour 16
Strongly favour 50
Blank 11
How supportive are you of the proposed intersection improvements between Specimen Hill Road and Monsants Road?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 3
Somewhat oppose 21
Neutral 1
Somewhat favour 21
Strongly favour 42
Blank 11
How supportive are you of the proposed walking and cycling options between Specimen Hill Road and Monsants Road?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 3
Somewhat oppose 3
Neutral 13
Somewhat favour 13
Strongly favour 53
Blank 16

What you told us

  • 16% of comments wanted some right turns or dedicated turning lanes provided. Left turns saw 8% of comments, and people also wanted to make sure there were U-turn opportunities. So turning at intersections and properties was important.
  • 13% of comments talked about adding extra lanes to Marong Road.
  • 3% of respondents wanted to retain one lane each way. (Our plan proposed one lane each way).
  • 22% were interested in walking and cycling.
  • 5% were concerned that the proposed changes might lead to more traffic in local streets.
  • Other comments related to perceptions of safety, public transport, lack of street lighting, and retaining the existing vegetation.
It’s great to see [plans] encouraging people to ride their bikes or catch public transport.
Back to top

Sparrowhawk Road intersection with Wicks Road and Eastern Lane

We proposed significant changes to the intersection of Marong Road and Sparrowhawk Road. To improve safety, connections and traffic flow we proposed closing Wicks Road at the highway and changing Sparrowhawk Road from a T-intersection to a cross-intersection joining Eastern Lane.

There were 72 respondents with 39 comments.

In our survey we asked you what you thought about the proposed intersection improvements, walking and cycling options and pedestrian crossings:

  • How supportive are you about the proposed intersection improvements at Sparrowhawk Road?
  • How supportive are you of the proposed walking and cycling connections near Sparrowhawk Road?

Overall there was support for changes at this intersection with 18% of respondents opposed to our proposed changes.

How supportive are you about the proposed intersection improvements at Sparrowhawk Road?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 17
Somewhat oppose 5
Neutral 5
Somewhat favour 19
Strongly favour 47
Blank 6
How supportive are you of the proposed walking and cycling connections near Sparrowhawk Road?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 16
Somewhat oppose 3
Neutral 16
Somewhat favour 18
Strongly favour 40
Blank 8

What you told us

  • 11% interested in walking and cycling proposals.
  • 9% were concerned that the proposed changes might lead to more traffic on Eastern Lane and Wicks Road.
  • 9% discussed building a roundabout at one of the intersections instead of the proposed traffic signals.
  • 9% of comments talked about adding extra lanes to Marong Road. (Our plans proposed one lane each way)
  • 5% wanted to maintain right turns at Wicks Road.
  • 6% supported the proposal for traffic signals and 5% opposed them.
  • Other comments included driver behaviour, speed limit, public transport and buses.
Great improvements. This will make navigating the intersection a lot safer for all road users. Thought will need to be put into the intersection of Wicks Road and Olympic Parade as…it is currently poorly aligned.
[Use] Olympic Parade [instead] which also services several businesses.
No major issues with lights at [Sparrowhawk Road] however I strongly object to…all traffic being diverted down Wicks Road/Eastern Lane. This will see an increase in…traffic down a quiet residential area.
Back to top

Olympic Parade intersection

We presented 2 proposals to improve safety at Olympic Parade. A short-term proposal restricted right turns from Olympic Parade and a long-term proposal restricted all access to and from Olympic Parade.

There were 72 respondents with 39 comments.

In our survey we asked you what you thought about the proposed intersection improvements, walking and cycling options and pedestrian crossings:

  • How supportive are you of the proposed intersection improvements at Olympic Parade?
  • How supportive are you of the proposed walking and cycling options at Olympic Parade?

Overall there was support for changes at this intersection with 18% of respondents opposed to our proposed changes.

Fewer people liked our ideas to improve Olympic Parade than other intersections. 42% preferred the short-term proposal and 19% told us they would like to see Olympic Parade end at Edwards Road instead of the highway.

How supportive are you of the proposed intersection improvements at Olympic Parade?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 29
Somewhat oppose 16
Neutral 9
Somewhat favour 25
Strongly favour 16
Blank 6
How supportive are you of the proposed walking and cycling options at Olympic Parade?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 14
Somewhat oppose 6
Neutral 9
Somewhat favour 28
Strongly favour 20
Blank 10

What you told us

The proposed changes to turning were the subject of many comments.

  • 29% of people discussed right turns with most stating they didn’t oppose restricting right turns out of Olympic Parade but turning into the local road was important.
  • 13% said keeping left turns onto the highway would help them get to their destination easier.
  • 16% said they were worried about additional traffic on local roads including Wicks Road.
  • 7% asked for traffic signals.
  • There were comments about walking, cycling, driver behaviour and not changing the intersection.
Preventing right turns onto the Calder Highway from Olympic Parade is the safest option.
Back to top

Braedene Drive intersection

We proposed to restrict right turns from Braedene Drive and include a shared user path. There were 26 respondents and 18 detailed comments.

We asked you what you thought about the proposed intersection improvements, walking and cycling options and pedestrian crossings:

  • How supportive are you about the proposed pedestrian crossing improvements near Braedene Drive?
  • How supportive are you of the proposed intersection improvements near Braedene Drive?
  • How supportive are you of the proposed walking and cycling options near Braedene Drive?

People generally disagreed with restricting right turns and liked the suggested improvements to walking and cycling.

How supportive are you about the proposed pedestrian crossing improvements near Braedene Drive?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 12
Somewhat oppose 0
Neutral 15
Somewhat favour 35
Strongly favour 38
Blank 0
How supportive are you of the proposed intersection improvements near Braedene Drive?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 42
Somewhat oppose 12
Neutral 4
Somewhat favour 35
Strongly favour 8
Blank 0
How supportive are you of the proposed walking and cycling options near Braedene Drive?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 8
Somewhat oppose 0
Neutral 8
Somewhat favour 23
Strongly favour 62
Blank 0

What you told us

  • 50% wanted to be able to turn right at this intersection.
  • 19% were concerned the proposal would create additional traffic on the local roads.
  • People also left comments about improving street lighting, feelings about safety, walking and cycling, public transport and driver behaviour.
Many people turn right here to get to the Maiden Gully school, sports grounds and shops.
Back to top

Smiths Road intersection

At the Smiths Road intersection, we proposed to change the way people access the street. We suggested we could change to a left turn only onto Marong Road and restrict all other turns which would mean residents would need to use Edwards Road.

There were 29 respondents and 12 detailed comments.

We asked you what you thought about the proposed intersection improvements, walking and cycling options and pedestrian crossings:

  • How supportive are you about the proposed pedestrian crossing improvements near Smiths Road?
  • How supportive are you of the proposed intersection improvements near Smiths Road?
  • How supportive are you of the proposed walking and cycling options near Smiths Road?

You told us you liked the proposed shared user paths and some of the changes to the intersection.

How supportive are you about the proposed pedestrian crossing improvements near Smiths Road?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 7
Somewhat oppose 0
Neutral 17
Somewhat favour 14
Strongly favour 55
Blank 7
How supportive are you of the proposed intersection improvements near Smiths Road?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 17
Somewhat oppose 3
Neutral 10
Somewhat favour 24
Strongly favour 41
Blank 3
How supportive are you of the proposed walking and cycling options near Smiths Road?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 7
Somewhat oppose 0
Neutral 17
Somewhat favour 17
Strongly favour 55
Blank 3

What you told us

  • 14% commented on the changes to left turning – many people wanted to be able to turn left from Marong Road onto Smiths Road.
  • People also told us what they thought about right turns, perceptions of safety, traffic signals and street lighting.
A street light here would be a huge bonus.
Back to top

Maiden Gully Road and Carolyn Way intersection

Proposed changes included re-opening Carolyn Way to Marong Road, installing traffic signals with dedicated turning lanes. We also proposed increasing the walking and cycling network with improved shared user paths and pedestrian crossings.

There were 72 survey responses and 39 provided detailed comments.

In our survey we asked you what you thought about the proposed intersection improvements, walking and cycling options and pedestrian crossings:

  • How supportive are you about the proposed pedestrian crossing improvements near Maiden Gully Road?
  • How supportive are you of the proposed intersection improvements near Maiden Gully Road?
  • How supportive are you of the proposed walking and cycling options near Maiden Gully Road?

Overall respondents liked the proposed ideas to improve the intersections, pedestrian crossings and the shared user path.

How supportive are you about the proposed pedestrian crossing improvements near Maiden Gully Road?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 1
Somewhat oppose 3
Neutral 6
Somewhat favour 18
Strongly favour 67
Blank 6
How supportive are you of the proposed intersection improvements near Maiden Gully Road?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 15
Somewhat oppose 3
Neutral 3
Somewhat favour 17
Strongly favour 57
Blank 6
How supportive are you of the proposed walking and cycling options near Maiden Gully Road?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 4
Somewhat oppose 1
Neutral 18
Somewhat favour 18
Strongly favour 51
Blank 7

What you told us

  • 22% of comments related to safety with:
  • 12% concerned about school students and pedestrians.
  • 12% commented on driver behaviour after the changes.
  • 17% wanted to make sure as many car parks as possible were retained.
  • 11% talked about the impact of extra traffic on local roads.
  • 7% liked that the intersection could be made safer with traffic signals.
  • People also told us about walking and cycling, on-road road bike lanes, public transport, turning and speed limits.
Safety for the children during peak times will need to be taken into consideration carefully.
Pedestrian and cyclist safety is of the utmost importance.
Connecting Carolyn Way would see a significant improvement in safety and traffic flow.
Back to top

Beckhams Road and Schumakers Lane intersection

The changes we proposed included adding dedicated turning lanes and installing traffic signals to increase safety for drivers, cyclist and pedestrians.

We received 48 completed surveys with 23 detailed comments.

We asked you what you thought about the proposed intersection improvements, walking and cycling options and pedestrian crossings:

  • How supportive are you about the proposed pedestrian crossing improvements near Beckhams Road/Schumakers Lane?
  • How supportive are you of the proposed intersection improvements near Beckhams Road/Schumakers Lane?
  • How supportive are you of the proposed walking and cycling options near Beckhams Road/Schumakers Lane?
How supportive are you about the proposed pedestrian crossing improvements near Beckhams Road/Schumakers Lane?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 2
Somewhat oppose 8
Neutral 8
Somewhat favour 15
Strongly favour 65
Blank 2
How supportive are you of the proposed intersection improvements near Beckhams Road/Schumakers Lane?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 2
Somewhat oppose 6
Neutral 10
Somewhat favour 19
Strongly favour 60
Blank 2
How supportive are you of the proposed walking and cycling options near Beckhams Road/Schumakers Lane?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 2
Somewhat oppose 4
Neutral 15
Somewhat favour 21
Strongly favour 56
Blank 2

What you told us

  • People told us turning safely and efficiently was important to them with:
  • 15% of comments about right turns.
  • 10% of comments about left turns.
  • 13% told us that improved street lighting would improve the intersection.
  • 6% of people thought more road lanes were a good idea.
  • People also commented about on-road bike lanes and agreed with a speed limit reduction.
I think dedicated turning lanes and [street] lighting will be sufficient
Back to top

Monsants Road and Hermitage Road intersection

The proposed improvements are like those proposed for Beckhams Road with dedicated turning lanes and traffic signals.

There were 55 survey respondents with 32 detailed comments provided.

The survey asked for responses to the proposed intersection improvements, walking and cycling options and pedestrian crossings:

  • How supportive are you about the proposed pedestrian crossing improvements near Hermitage Road/Monsants Road?
  • How supportive are you of the proposed intersection improvements near Hermitage Road/Monsants Road?
  • How supportive are you of the proposed walking and cycling options near Hermitage Road/Monsants Road?
How supportive are you about the proposed pedestrian crossing improvements near Hermitage Road/Monsants Road?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 4
Somewhat oppose 5
Neutral 4
Somewhat favour 18
Strongly favour 64
Blank 5
How supportive are you of the proposed intersection improvements near Hermitage Road/Monsants Road?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 5
Somewhat oppose 7
Neutral 4
Somewhat favour 15
Strongly favour 65
Blank 4
How supportive are you of the proposed walking and cycling options near Hermitage Road/Monsants Road?
Level of support %
Strongly oppose 2
Somewhat oppose 5
Neutral 11
Somewhat favour 18
Strongly favour 58
Blank 5

What you told us

  • 22% of people indicated dedicated turning lanes would make travel easier.
  • 15% liked that the intersection could be made safer with traffic signals.
  • 5% wanted to know more about bus stops near this intersection.
  • Respondents also told us their thoughts about extra traffic lanes, pedestrian facilities and the proposed speed limit reduction.
I’d absolutely like to see traffic lights and pedestrian crossing at this intersection.
Traffic lights here are a much better option than Beckhams Road.
Back to top

Next steps

Your feedback is helping shape the future of Marong Road (Calder Highway) over the coming decades. We’re continuing to work with stakeholders while developing future proposals.

Back to top

Contact us

Email: NRengagement@roads.vic.gov.au
Write: Project Manager – Marong Road (Calder Highway), 51-61 Lansell Street East Bendigo VIC 3550

Back to top