September 3, 2014  |  Members Statements

Christies-Ballarat roads, Caroline Springs

This afternoon and evening hundreds of residents in Caroline Springs and Melbourne’s west will experience what is now a regular occurrence in their daily commute — unsafe and inordinate wait times at the Christies Road and Ballarat Road intersection near the exit to the Western Freeway.

Caroline Springs has been a well-established and built-up community in Melbourne for almost 20 years. Home to over 20 000 residents, it is accessible from the south near the freeway by only one main road. This intersection and the freeway exit creates inevitable backups and congestion with only one entry lane to Caroline Springs and one turning lane onto Ballarat Road. Traffic in peak times can back up right up to the freeway, causing further congestion and safety issues.

Even more worrying is the potential danger posed by this nightmarish choke point. Emergency services vehicles — be they ambulances, fire trucks or even police vehicles — can be caught and essentially trapped in this horrendous intersection with nowhere to go. Often frustrated motorists will run red traffic signals, which in turn causes safety issues for other commuters, pedestrians and oncoming traffic. It is only a matter of time before this intersection is the cause of a tragic accident.

The one-lane entry into Caroline Springs from the Western Freeway is simply not acceptable. I call on this government to widen the road to allow multiple lane access and improve signalling at this intersection to increase the flow of traffic in peak times. Forget the east-west link, this upgrade is the real congestion-busting game changer that residents in Caroline Springs need.

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