Why is the City of Whittlesea proposing to close Masons Road to through traffic?
Council is currently seeking feedback from residents on a plan to close the road to reduce the safety risk to motorists and local residents.
Masons Road was originally built as a gravel road to provide local farm access. As development in the area has increased, many motorists are using the road as an east-west cut through, which has affected the condition and safety of the road.
We’ve received many reports from residents and data from Victoria Police about speeding along the 50km/h road, dust and increased traffic issues from neighbouring residents, as well as damage to vehicles from the gravel.
How many residents currently travel on Masons Road?
Between 850 and 900 vehicles travel on the unsealed section of Masons Road daily. Traffic volumes on the gravel section have more than doubled since 2014 and are around ten times greater than what would be expected for a local rural road.
What other options have Council considered?
A number of options for the future of Masons Road have been considered, including sealing and constructing the road to the standard required to accommodate anticipated traffic volumes (up to 10,000 vehicles per day). Sealing the road to the required standard would cost up to $12 million. This does not include the potential need to upgrade the intersections at Plenty Road and Epping Road to cater for the increased traffic volumes.
We’ve also explored the option of continuing to grade the unsealed section, but to a higher standard. We currently grade the road twice as often as any other gravel road but it does not solve the ongoing issues of road safety, dust and damage to vehicles. The cost of increased regular maintenance is estimated at $400,000 per year.
Closing Masons Road to through traffic will divert traffic to other busy roads. What’s Council going to do about it?
As our city grows, so do our traffic volumes. We’re advocating to the State and Federal Governments on our residents’ behalf to improve existing roads and deliver new major roads. We’re lobbying to secure funding for improvements to Bridge Inn Road and Plenty Road, extend the duplication of Epping Road and to bring forward the delivery of the E6 freeway. The State Government has committed to duplicate Bridge Inn Road from Yan Yean to Plenty Roads and Council is lobbying to extend works to Epping Road.
If Council decide to close Masons Road to through traffic, at what streets/points would it be closed?
Council has not decided on the locations for the possible closure. There are some logical closure point options, including:
- At the intersection at Epping Road
- 250 metres west of Wilkes Court
- Darebin Creek Bridge
- At the edge of sealed road, 200 metres west of Texel Drive.
We invite feedback from residents to determine the closure points.
How can I have my say about the proposed closure?
You can let us know what you think about the proposed road closure by visiting whittlesea.vic.gov.au/masonsroad. We’ve put together some short questions and look forward to receiving your feedback. Written submissions will be considered by Council as part of their decision until 14 June 2019.