RESIDENTS of Hughes Road in Blairgowrie and Sorrento started campaigning for safety upgrades almost four years ago, and they’re still waiting.
Despite a petition to Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and grant applications to the Department of Transport no improvements have been made to the road, which residents say is dangerous.
Residents want speed limits reduced and footpaths constructed to make it safer for pedestrians.
Hughes Road crosses the peninsula between Blairgowrie and Sorrento and is popular with walkers.
Resident Philip Cooke said the mayor in 2019, Sam Hearn, had stated that the road was listed in the council’s principal pedestrian network strategy as well as being included in a separate works budget “bid” for construction of the top 10 per cent of the network.
Residents were also encouraged to apply for a grant under the VicRoads road safety program but were unsuccessful.
“We are sick of waiting, it’s a serious safety issue,” Cooke said.
“To date nothing has happened. We have been told that even if a proposal is successful, it has to be approved by VicRoads.”
Cooke said he felt the council was passing the buck and blaming VicRoads, despite the road being a council road, as confirmed by VicRoads.
Cooke said one resident had asked the council to erect “holiday time, slow down, kids around” signs but was told they could only be erected on main roads or near schools and playgrounds.
“Hughes Road is classed as an arterial road – another bureaucratic hurdle to be grappled with,” Clarke said.
The council’s manager of strategic and infrastructure planning, Katanya Barlow, confirmed Hughes Road had been identified as part of the principal pedestrian network and was in the top 20 footpaths for upgrading. However, there was no money for the “delivery”.
“We have been advocating strongly for funding from the state government as part of our Victorian election advocacy campaign,” Barlow said.
Although the road is a council responsibility, councils can apply for state government grants for some infrastructure works.