Council considered all feedback received from residents and motorists prior to deciding on the six-month trial, which was both in favour of and opposed to the proposed closure. The one-way trial hopes to address the issues raised around road safety, without closing the road entirely.
3 February 2020
Yes, emergency services and authorised road maintenance vehicles will be exempt from the one-way restriction.
Council sought 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.
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.
A number of options for the future of Masons Road were considered prior to the decision for a one-way trial, 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.
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.
Submissions are now closed. The trial will be reviewed next year to determine whether it has been effective in addressing safety concerns or if the road closure proposal should be reconsidered. We will be asking for your feedback on the trial at that time, and your feedback will inform Council’s decision.