Three northern Mayors have joined forces calling on the Federal Government and Opposition to support motorists in Melbourne’s north and pledge a northern roads package, in the lead up to the election.
The Councils are seeking a northern roads package to unlock the North’s potential, including access to jobs, investment and more liveable communities. Residents in Melbourne’s North growth areas spend more time away from home and less time with their families, trying to navigate freeways and arterial roads that are gridlocked.
There are key projects that will unlock Jobs, Investment and liveability in Melbourne’s Northern growth corridor including a diamond interchange in Wallan, the E6 Freeway for Whittlesea and duplication of Mickleham and Somerton roads in Hume.
City of Whittlesea Mayor, Cr Lawrie Cox said his rapidly growing municipality needed the urgent construction of the E6 Freeway.
"There are currently 183,000 vehicles travelling north south through the City of Whittlesea each day along High Street, Epping, Plenty, Dalton and Edgars roads and these roads are already operating above capacity," he said.
"The population in the City of Whittlesea is expected to grow by 159,000 people in the next 20 years and the majority of this growth will occur within the E6 corridor, placing even more pressure on our road network."
The proposed 23km E6 Freeway will run from the Hume Freeway to the M80 Ring Road.
Cr Cox urged the Federal Government and Opposition to bring forward construction of the Freeway and have it built and operating by 2031.
Mitchell Shire Council Mayor, Cr Bill Chisholm called on the Federal Government and Opposition to complete the diamond interchange linking Wallan to the Hume Freeway.
"Mitchell will experience rapid population growth with 270,000 people expected to call us home in the next 20 to 30 years, with Wallan’s population of 13,000 expected to grow to more than 50,000 people in that time. Our roads are already at capacity and traffic is banking up onto the Hume Freeway causing a dangerous bottleneck on this national freight corridor. This bottleneck is also impacting on surrounding areas such as Kilmore, as the key access point off the freeway is Wallan.
"As well as serious safety concerns, our community is also facing long and frustrating commute times from traffic congestion, social isolation and difficulty trying to go about their daily life including shopping, work, leisure and family activities.
"The State Government has already invested in the development of a business case for the Wallan freeway interchange so it is ready to progress to the next stage. We can’t wait for another election cycle. Something needs to be done now for Wallan and for the wider northern Melbourne growth corridor."
Mayor of Hume City, Councillor Carly Moore said support for infrastructure in Melbourne’s Northern growth corridor was a national issue that needed to be urgently addressed - especially in the lead up to the Federal Election.
"Hume is one of Australia’s fastest-growing areas - home to an estimated 232,700 residents in 2019 and the City’s population is expected to grow to 372,600 by 2041," Cr Moore said.
"The best time to have built the infrastructure our City needed was yesterday – the next best time is now.
"Mickleham Road and Somerton Road are key arterials which connect suburbs and businesses in Melbourne’s Northern growth corridor.
"Despite the significant growth alongside both these roads, they still retain single lanes in parts, causing serious bottlenecks and congestion for travellers.
"Along with other infrastructure priorities, the duplications of these roads will ensure residents living along Melbourne’s Northern growth corridor are able to live in safe, healthy and connected communities."