Whittlesea welcomes road funding

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Published: Thursday, February 7, 2019

Whittlesea Council has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement of $50 million to upgrade of the Hume Freeway between Beveridge and the M80 Ring Road.

Mayor Lawrie Cox said the Federal Government’s Urban Congestion Fund recognised that road congestion was a critical issue for rapidly growing communities.

“The upgrade to the Hume Freeway is welcomed and will certainly help to accommodate the morning peak experienced in the northern parts of our municipality, where many residents face a two hour commute to work and where traffic counts are expected to double over the next decade, Cr Cox said.

“The funding however falls short of addressing the increasing transport needs generated in our growth areas and we are looking forward to further announcements in the lead up to the Federal election,” he said.

“The major road we are seeking funding from the Federal Government for is the construction of the E6 Freeway.

Cr Cox said today’s announcement was very promising as it indicated the Federal Government was committed to reducing congestion in the area.

“Council has met with the local Federal Members of Parliament and lodged a budget submission with Federal Treasury outlining the need for the E6 Freeway to be built,” Cr Cox said.

“We are hopeful that further road funding announcements in coming weeks will include the E6 Freeway.”

The 23 kilometre E6 freeway will link the Hume Freeway to the M80 Ring Road to provide a north south corridor through the heart of the municipality.   It will provide a continuous north south route capable of carrying or than 80,000 per day.

The E6 Freeway will connect future growth areas throughout Northern Growth Corridor which is forecast to accommodate more than 260,000 people and at least 83,000 jobs.

Cr Cox said the population in the areas serviced by the E6 transport corridor was anticipated to increase by 186 per cent over the next 20 years from 129,000 people to 241,000 people.

“This road is currently not scheduled for another 15 to 30 years and we are asking for the Federal Government to bring forward the timeframe to construct this road,” he said.

“Land along this route is already reserved, and while there are some environmental and civic engineering studies needed, there are no known impediments to building the road.”