Traffic plan draws criticism

A Kyneton residents group has criticised a council plan to manage increased traffic flow through the town as new housing estates and infill development are expected to see the population reach 10,000 by 2036.
The draft Kyneton Movement Network Study, currently on public exhibition, aims to guide and provide the transport infrastructure needed to cope with the growth and was developed alongside the Kyneton South Framework Plan, which indicates that future housing development in Kyneton South may generate an extra 4000 people.
The study proposes measures to alleviate traffic congestion on the town’s main roads and intersections.
To reduce congestion in Mollison and High Streets it recommends a new bridge constructed across the Campaspe River at Edgecombe Street providing a second exit and entry to the housing estates south of the river.
To reduce traffic in Edgecombe Street it recommends road humps for that street and a new freeway on-ramp at the top of Bourke Street for northbound traffic.
But the plan has drawn criticism from long-time locals who say it adds to, rather than addresses, existing and future traffic congestion problems and removes routes essential to the town’s operation as a connected community.
Eric Dearricott, president of residents group Kyneton Connections, said the study suggested an increase in employment in the industrial areas north of the Calder Freeway would lead to a majority of internal trips having a more north-south aligned travel pattern.
“Yet the study recommends a measure that will significantly undo the central purpose of the proposed new bridge by seeking to throttle traffic to a trickle in Edgecombe Street – the route most used to travel to the north of the freeway – by installing speed humps and other traffic calming measures which will force traffic back to High and Mollison Streets, the very streets most in need of relief,” he said.
Mr Dearricott was also critical of the study’s forecasting of streets it suggested would become ‘rat runs’ for drivers wishing to avoid the main arterial roads through town, and its proposed means of dissuading drivers from doing so by installing speed humps in those streets.
“The study is quick to assign the term ‘rat run’ to some streets in the township,” he said.
“Its own ‘specially’ designed rat run, the western bypass, is described as an ‘alternative route’ whereas alternative routes – shorter routes used for decades by residents – such as the New Street/Bodkin Street route to and from the station are ‘rat runs’.
“During the Kyneton South consultation, the council officers made clear their preferred western alternative route from the new Kyneton South estates for those wishing to head north towards Bendigo. The council’s route was Spring Hill Road, Harpers Lane, Lauriston Reservoir Road, Flynns Lane and Burton Avenue.
“It was a route strongly opposed by residents at meetings and in their written submissions.
“The residents proposed a route that was simpler, safer and further removed from the town thus allowing for further development of the town into the future, which was: Spring Hill Road, Harts Lane, Burton Avenue.”
Mr Dearricott said the Draft Kyneton Movement Network Study should not be approved in its current form and needed significant amendment.
Public submissions close May 31. See council’s website for details.

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