New data shows congestion getting much worse

New statistics demonstrated that the number of vehicles which utilised major roads in the north of Hume had dramatically risen in recent years, Hume Mayor, Councillor Adem Atmaca, said today.

Cr Atmaca said that data on traffic volumes illustrated the urgent need to duplicate parts of Somerton, Craigieburn, and Mickleham roads.

“Large sections of these roads are single-lane carriageways that were built when the area was predominantly rural, but that’s not the case anymore,” Cr Atmaca said.

“More and more motorists use Somerton, Craigieburn, and Mickleham roads every day, and the thoroughfares urgently need to be widened because congestion is at breaking point.

“Our figures show that more than 27,000 vehicles utilise Somerton Road between Roxburgh Park Drive and Aitken Boulevard, and that’s an increase of 47 per cent in the past 12 years.

“The road is an east-west corridor for residents who commute to work, and it supports many important industries.

“Hume expects the number of vehicles on Somerton Road to increase further when Council opens the southern section of Aitken Boulevard.

“It’s essential to duplicate Somerton Road now, so that people can smoothly commute between Roxburgh Park Drive and Mickleham Road.”

Traffic is regularly at a standstill on Somerton Road, and residents of Greenvale, Craigieburn West, and Craigieburn North have very few public transport options.

Cr Atmaca said that Craigieburn Road had seen an even bigger surge in car volumes.

“In the past 10 years, the amount of vehicles on Craigieburn Road has jumped by 73 per cent in the east, and by a massive 146 per cent in the west,” he said.

“More than 27,000 vehicles use Craigieburn Road every day between Bridgewater and Hanson roads, and drivers are forced to navigate along an arterial which is largely a single lane in each direction.

“The road was sufficient when the area was farmland, but Craigieburn is now one of Australia’s fastest growing suburbs.

“A Craigieburn Road which is duplicated from Hanson Road in a westerly direction will offer a smoother journey for motorists who need to access Craigieburn Central, Craigieburn Train Station, and the Craigieburn Leisure Centre.”

Recent counts of vehicles have also demonstrated that traffic on Mickleham Road, north of Somerton Road, has escalated by 38 per cent in the last two years.

Cr Atmaca said in excess of 20,000 vehicles now travel along the single lanes of Mickleham Road every day.

“We’ve noticed a large number of casualty crashes along Mickleham Road and that’s partly because it is a rural road which cannot cope with an urban traffic load,” he said.

“The area is home to many families who have moved to new housing estates along Mickleham Road, and to the west of Craigieburn.

“We want them to commute along Mickleham Road safely, and it’s essential that this thoroughfare is duplicated.”

The population in the north of Hume is expected to continue to expand, with the number of people who call Craigieburn home to double between now and 2036.

Cr Atmaca said Hume would highlight the new statistics as it encouraged state and federal governments to duplicate Somerton, Craigieburn, and Mickleham roads.

“We want our residents to travel smoothly on these arterials, so that they can spend less time in traffic and more time with their families,” he said.

“If we reduce congestion on these vital roads, business will become more productive and our city shall be much safer.”

Further information on the projects that Hume City Council advocates on behalf of is here.

Posted on 12:00 AM, 15 September 2015

Updated : 11:04 AM, 15 September 2015

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