Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
The RACV’s annual My Country Road Survey has nominated the stretch of Princes Highway between Stratford and Bairnsdale the state’s most dangerous.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said the survey told us what we already knew, and it was time for Regional Roads Victoria and the Minister’s office to stop hiding behind data and fix the mess it created.
“Time and again they simply quote there are less fatalities, but that is largely luck as there has clearly been an increase in major accidents as any local will tell you.
“I’ve sent the pictures of the spate of serious accidents to the Minister, so he is aware.
“Once again the people have spoken and they can no longer defend the indefensible. It is time we had a truly independent safety audit of this road and acted on its findings.
“The RACV had several thousand responses and we topped the list, surely that tells them something,” said Mr Bull.
The RACV will now take its findings to the State Government.
Mr Bull said the overarching issue is that the road is not wide enough.
“The centre median is too narrow and the shoulder is so narrow, large trucks can’t get off the road if they break down and you can’t change a tyre on a car without being in the traffic lane.
“The Minister has conceded to me in correspondence that it was the cost of native vegetation offsets that prevented the road being wider.
“One could well ask if the world has gone mad. These areas were put aside as road reserves and now a government department has to pay another government department vegetation offsets on an area our forefathers put aside as road reserve - to build a road on.
“What is even more ridiculous is one department does not go ahead with the work because it is too expensive to pay the offsets to a different department. It is just crazy; you would not expect to see this on an episode of Yes Minister,” he said.