Speed reduction considered

By Emma Prior

A speed reduction along the Murray Valley Highway could be in the pipeline with Moira Shire Council actioning a letter of endorsement to Regional Roads Victoria (RRV).

At Moira Shire Councils ordinary meeting on July 22, Cr Peter Mansfield put forward a motion for RRV to review the speed limits on the Murray Valley Highway east of Yarrawonga from Woods Rd to Hogans Road.

“I feel this is the ideal time to review the speed limits as the speed limit will be changed during construction of the Woods Road roundabout,” Cr Mansfield said in July.

“Eighty kilometers per hour is totally unacceptable in this day and age with the traffic we currently have.”

Cr Kevin Bourke endorsed the recommendation and reiterated Cr Mansfield’s comments.

“This is such an important means for traffic and is a very congested area, I endorse a review into speed limit changes.”

The recommendation was carried with Moira Shire Council to contact VicRoads and Regional Roads Victoria on the matter.

At the most recent ordinary council meeting on August 26 council was advised regional office is supportive of the request and it has been referred to RRV head office for a decision. 

Cr Kevin Bourke said this was great news for the community that the governing body was now having a look into the possible adaptation.

 “It’s great that we have RRV on side,” Cr Bourke said.

“It’s a step in the right direction. Having locals on side speaks volumes.

“We are going to keep pushing until we get the outcome we want.”

Cr Wendy Buck added that safety was key.

“Reducing speed limits should always be in consideration to ensure the safety of the community.”  

On February 20 the Chronicle asked Facebook users their thoughts on a speed review of the Murray Valley Highway between Woods Road and Hogan’s Road, receiving more than 110 responses.

One suggestion read about the possibility of electronic variable speed limit signs being placed along this section with 60km/h during busy periods (6am to 9pm) and 80km/h during less busy times.

Another said: “Yes 100% needs to be 60 and a roundabout at Woods Road and at Bunnings. They are only planning on adding more businesses and houses to the Bunnings side of the road.

“Yes, it is a highway but there are plenty of places along that highway where the speed is reduced to 60. 

“If it is 60 in Bundalong, Cobram and Strathmerton, why should it not be 60 all the way through Yarrawonga? 

“Every intersection along that stretch of road from Woods Road to Hogan’s Road is so unsafe.”

Over the last decade there has been a significant increase in traffic volumes and the highway has seen an increase in crashes. 

In the five-year period ending December 2016, this section of the highway experienced 100 crashes, with seven fatalities and 93 injuries. 

An accident earlier this year at the dangerous intersection of Woods Road and Murray Valley Highway sparked concern of the then promised roundabout construction. The two-vehicle collision raised further frustration by local residents who vented their concerns on social media. Many residents said they avoid the hazardous intersection where possible adding congestion on other residential streets. 

Residents are now relieved that the roundabout on the dangerous Murray Valley Highway and Woods Road intersection has begun and is expected to be completed by November.