Following a 12-month investigation into the area’s traffic movements, a Regional Roads Victoria (RRV) feasibility study has confirmed that the construction of a proposed link road connecting the Midland Highway and Western Freeway would not significantly reduce the number of heavy vehicles travelling through the town.
RRV Chief Regional Roads Officer, Paul Northey said while the evidence does not support the construction of a link road at this time, a range of other options would be examined to enhance safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
“We acknowledge that there are genuine concerns around a rise in heavy vehicles passing through Buninyong and we have considered this important feedback alongside the evidence obtained through this feasibility study,” he said.
“The traffic study showed that roughly only 18 percent of all heavy vehicles that travel through Buninyong might use a proposed east link road, which means not enough trucks would be removed to adequately address safety issues."
Mr Northey said the results of the study also confirmed a lack of compliance around speed, which is undoubtedly adding to concerns around safety, particularly for pedestrian and cyclists.
“As part of a plan to address this, we've recently installed gateway treatments at exit and entry points to Buninyong, which includes eye-catching signage and unique road markings to provide a visual reminder to drivers that they’re entering a town and that they need to slow down."
RRV will now progress conversations with the City of Ballarat, Victoria Police and the Buninyong & District Community Association on a range of other potential safety upgrades.
"Some of the other options we're keen to examine more closely include the installation of a signalised pedestrian crossing on the Midland Highway near the existing school crossing and additional crossing points for pedestrians near the Buninyong Golf Club and De Soza Park, and Winter Street," Mr Northey said.
To keep track of this project, visit www.regionalroads.vic.gov.au.