A safe sign

The roads to the north of Melbourne Airport would soon be much safer, as Hume City Council reduced the speed limit on a number of thoroughfares, Hume Mayor, Cr Adem Atmaca, said today.

Cr Atmaca said Council would shortly install new signs which advise an 80km/h speed limit on several roads that have previously permitted travel at 100km/h, with the new limit to commence from Monday 18 May 2015.

“Some of the roads in Oaklands Junction and Wildwood are now much busier than in years past, as new families move to the area and surrounding suburbs,” Cr Atmaca said.

“We’ve seen some terrible crashes on these undivided roads, and Council wants to do everything it can to make the area safer for everyone.

“More and more people commute daily through thoroughfares like Oaklands Road and Somerton Road, and I’m confident that the new speed limits will increase the chances that motorists will arrive home safely to their loved ones.”

The new speed limit of 80km/h will apply to the following roads:

• Bardwell Drive;
• Craigieburn Road West, between Mickleham and Oaklands roads;
• Konagaderra Road, between Craigieburn Road West and Mommsens Road;
• Oaklands Road, between Craigieburn Road West and Sunbury Road;
• Somerton Road, between Wildwood and Mickleham roads; and
• Wildwood Road, between Bulla Road and Gellies Road.

Cr Atmaca said that some sections of these roads had been identified as collision black spots.

“Oaklands Road, Somerton Road and Wildwood Road have seen far too many crashes, with sections of these roads recording 10 separate casualties in the five years to 2013,” he said.

“Roads that were once quiet stretches between farms have become very busy, and the average number of vehicles on many of these streets now exceeds 5000 each weekday.

“It’s important to reduce the speed limit because these roads often present hazards close to the roadside, like electricity poles, mature trees, open drains, property gates, and wildlife, like kangaroos.

“A limit of 80km/h will also make these roads safer for an increasing number of cyclists, as well as tractors and horses that are destined for the Peppercorn Equestrian Centre on Oaklands Road.”

As part of the road safety initiative, Hume City Council will also construct a roundabout at the intersection of Oaklands Road and Craigieburn Road West.

Council also intends to create an auxiliary right turn lane at the entrance to the Oaklands Junction Quarry along Oaklands Road, so that heavy vehicles can safely enter the manufacturing site, with this upgrade partly funded by the quarry’s owner, Holcim.

Cr Atmaca said Hume City Council had consulted widely as it prepared these road improvements.

“We asked residents to tell us what they thought about the roads, and they overwhelmingly supported a lower speed limit,” he said.

“We’ll make sure our local residents, as well as others who travel these roads, know about the 80km/h limit in advance, through the temporary placement of electronic message boards.

“Council will also install permanent signs throughout the area, to ensure all road users understand the new speed law.”

Victoria Police and VicRoads have supported the change in speed limit, which will affect sections of Somerton and Oaklands roads which are classified as arterial roads, and operated by VicRoads.

For further information about the speed limit changes, contact Council’s traffic team on 03 9205 2416.

Posted on 12:00 AM, 11 May 2015

Updated : 10:53 AM, 11 May 2015

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