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Published Tuesday 30 April 2019
Tags:General, Media Release, News Advocacy

Federal commitment for freeway interchange at Wallan needed now

There are more than 25,000 cars using the Northern Highway every day. By 2030 more than 50,000 cars will use the highway every single day. We're at capacity already and something must be done now to keep our national freeway moving and reduce congestion on our local roads.
Wallan Freeway Cars Image v SW

With traffic expected to double in the next 10 years and roads already at capacity, Mitchell Shire Council is seeking an urgent commitment from Federal election candidates to accelerate and fund the completion of a full diamond interchange to link Wallan and Hume Freeway.

A Federal commitment is required to support the free flow of traffic on Hume Freeway and to support improved freight connectivity and efficiency on our national freeway.

A Federal commitment will also help secure state funding for the freeway access ramps as well as the associated VicRoads plans to duplicate and upgrade Watson Street and expand capacity on the Northern Highway in Wallan.

People driving through to Kilmore, Broadford, Pyalong, Tooborac, Seymour and surrounds will benefit from the upgrades with the reduction of traffic congestion across the Mitchell Shire. Alleviating the pressure on Mitchell Shire’s roads will allow residents and businesses safe, easy and fast travel daily.

A road like the Northern Highway is already at capacity. There are more than 25,000 cars using the Northern Highway every day. By 2030 more than 50,000 cars will use the highway every single day.

Mitchell Shire’s population will expand to more than 270,000 residents – with 50,000 of those based in Wallan – which means something needs to be done now to address the increasing congestion.

A clay quarry was approved in Wallan, putting even more pressure on our road network with an estimated 140 extra vehicle movements each day. This translates to 14 large truck movements per hour.

The freeway interchange is one of two key priorities that Mitchell Shire Council is campaigning for this Federal election, along with local mental health services. Community members can visit www.fightformitchellshire.com.au to send an email to their candidates that these priorities matter.

Quotes attributable to Mitchell Shire Mayor Councillor Bill Chisholm

“Wallan’s roads are already struggling to cope with traffic congestion, let alone with large increases in the next five years and doubling traffic volume in just 10 years.

“The freeway and major roads are unable to cope with current traffic volumes, let alone projected population growth in the next few years.

"Traffic is regularly banking up on Hume Freeway around a blind corner at 110 kilometres an hour creating a serious safety concern,” he said.

“We’ve heard from people who have had accidents and many more near misses. It is only a matter of time before something more serious occurs there.

“Once off the freeway, people then need to deal with long commute times just to get into Wallan or home. This adds to an already long day and leads to frustrations and social isolation with impacts on participation in work, leisure and family activities.

“These issues will only get worse once a new clay quarry in Wallan opens to serve Melbourne’s residential construction industry. We just can’t absorb the increase in the volume of heavy vehicle trucks.

“The freeway interchange is ready to progress to the next stage. It requires Federal funding, so it can be brought forward as a priority and we can keep our national freeway and local roads moving.”

We need the Federal government provide the necessary funding to deliver this project as an immediate priority to meet growing demands and ease current pressure on the road network.

The Ask

Mitchell Shire Council is seeking a commitment from the Federal candidates to accelerate and fund the urgent construction of the interchange to the Hume Freeway.

We need the Federal government provide the necessary funding to deliver this project as an immediate priority to meet growing demands and ease current pressure on the road network.

This will also open up State Government funding for the interchange, to duplicate and upgrade Watson Street and to improve capacity on the Northern Highway in Wallan.

Key benefits from the construction of this project

  • Alleviating growth pressures on Melbourne – connecting the northern growth corridor and beyond
  • Free flow of traffic on the Hume Freeway
  • Communities that are healthier, more vibrant and connected – better quality of life
  • Improved retention of economic wealth within local communities – vibrant town centres
  • Improved freight connectivity and efficiency - important national freight and commercial link