Hallam Road safety

MsGRALEY (Narre Warren South) — My adjournment matter is for the attention of the Minister for Roads, and it concerns the Hallam Road upgrade project. The action I seek is that the minister commit to making the road safe whilst works that are well past their expected completion date are eventually finished.

I know this is an issue for residents, commuters and businesses in my area. They
are feeling most displeased and very worried at the moment. The works northbound towards Narre Warren along Hallam Road near Pound Road are an absolute mess. Three lanes of traffic crossing Pound Road have been reduced to two lanes, then to one lane and then back to two lanes, all within 36 metres. This concoction of confusion is not helped by inadequate signage and there being no white lines painted on the road. Most concerning is that at one point the asphalt abruptly stops without warning and turns straight into gravel with a number of large potholes.

If you are going to leave a project half-finished, at least make it safe. To drive that
section of the road at night is an accident waiting to happen. It is very difficult to see the edge of the road without any white lines on a clear night, let alone if it is raining, as it has been recently. Surely whilst these works are progressively being  carried out,
care and consideration should be given to the safety of road users. A solid white line must be put down to ensure that drivers are aware of the multiple lane changes and do not end up running off the road.

I have met with David Russell, who brought this matter to my attention. Mr Russell
frequently uses this section of the road and is appalled by the state of the works and how they are progressing, or more to the point how they are not progressing. Mr Russell wrote to VicRoads regarding his concerns and was advised by the project director that, ‘The project is unable to provide any funds to continue the widening beyond the current limit of works’.

Furthermore, Mr Russell was advised that the duplication of Hallam Road was meant to be completed by the end of 2013 but due to delays it will be completed by the end of 2014, which is a year behind schedule, and there is chaos in the meantime. This particular section of road started construction in November last year and has yet to be completed.

Rumours abound in Hampton Park that Safeway is even considering taking legal action, seeking redress regarding the slow progress of the works being undertaken. The road presents a serious risk to community safety, and something needs to be done urgently. How long does the community need to endure constant disruptions, delays and a lack of safe roads before the project gets finished? It beggars belief that this mess has continued, but someone has to get it fixed.

The action I seek from the minister is that appropriate action be taken to make the road
safe and to ensure that users of Hallam Road can travel along the road safety. A community campaign to make this road safe through duplication and installing safety crossings and traffic lights resulted in Labor committing funds to this project. I was very proud of the community effort, but people are getting a little sick of waiting to see it finished. Let us make it safer for them to use in the meantime.