Transport Working Group Meeeting
8 July 2017
The working group meeting was well attended with about 25 people including Bronwyn Halfpenny MP from Thomastown and Lawrie Cox, Councillor, South West Ward.
Priyam Shah (new ACA President) welcomed the attendees and gave a brief outline of the purpose of the meeting i.e. reactivating the ACA Transport Working Group.
Tony Francis gave a presentation with photos and video on the history and achievements of the previous ACA Transport Working Group which was well received. The Access Denied campaign video that was shown can be found here. The Access Denied was a very successful campaign leading to
- Approval of and commitment to the O’Herns Road freeway interchange
- Three new bus routes in Epping North and Wollert replacing one route
- Rail extension to Mernda.
Bronwyn then provided update on various transport related matters:
- MAB has bought and settled the land between Bunnings and O’Herns Road covering Edgars Road.
- Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) is working with Bronwyn, Whittlesea Council, Planning ministers, the developer MAB and Vic Roads with the intention of finalising the construction plan for Edgars Road with two lanes in each direction. A second meeting is scheduled for next week. Bronwyn will provide an update in two weeks on the outcome of this meeting
- VicRoads has been told that Edgars Road must be built before completion of the O’Herns Road interchange. This is a significant development and could bring the Edgars Road construction forward to 2018 from current plans of late 2019 / early 2020 for the O’Herns Road diamond interchange
- The Findon/O’Herns Road roundabout will be replaced with traffic lights by the end of 2017
- A question was asked about traffic lights at the corner of Edgars Road and Craigieburn Road East – Bronwyn believed there would be, but would follow up to confirm this
- A Northern Roads package will be announced in the future and we have to campaign to get the roads we want. If we do not campaign enough, then the money may be allocated to other parts of Whittlesea and we will miss out significantly.
- We also need to campaign strongly for the train line to Wollert. Rail capacity issues elsewhere such as the Craigieburn line are likely to be a distraction (see reference).
Priyam then mentioned the key projects that TWG will be campaigning on ie
- Completion of Edgars Rd between Cooper Street and Craigieburn Road East,
- Epping Rd/High Street duplication between Memorial Avenue and Craigieburn Road East
- Train line to Wollert.
Sunil Goel (background) then sought inputs and suggestions from meeting attendees for other projects. The following were suggested:
- Traffic light intersections for Edgars Rd/Craigieburn Rd East and Edgars Rd/O’Herns Rd
- Bus service for new Secondary School in Wollert when it opens
- Edgars Rd duplication from O’Herns Road to Craigieburn Rd East Road
- Craigieburn Rd East duplication
- Improve traffic management around Epping Views Primary School
- Stop excessive speeding in Rockfield St
- Findon Rd duplication
- Increase road safety awareness for local drivers
- More amenities at Lalor station e.g. toilets, more parking spaces
- Reduce parking in High St, Lalor.
These suggestions will be discussed within the TWG committee to work out the priorities.
A few people then expressed their interest in joining TWG. Thank you Steven Boyne, Stephen Feitsma, Winston Fernandez and David Sharley. If more people are interested, please let us know.
Lawrie Cox spoke briefly. He suggested the TWG needs to campaign for the E6 freeway/arterial road as it will impact on Epping Road and even Edgars Road. Lawrie said that all land has been identified for the proposed Epping North Public Transport Corridor (hopefully for the rail line to Wollert) but some land still needs to be acquired. Lawrie also suggested that the local area councillors (South West Ward) should be utilized for transport campaigning as much as possible.