THE state opposition has backed Frankston Council’s call for a full interchange at the intersection a Western Port Highway and Ballarto Rd, despite Vicroads opposing the plan.
ALP spokesman for roads Luke Donnellan, who last week visited the intersection with Labor candidate for Carrum for Sonya Kilkenny, Cranbourne MP Jude Perera and Frankston councillor Colin Hampton, said a full interchange was essential to avoid chaos on Frankston roads.
VicrRoads, which is overseeing planning for $1 billion upgrade of the Western Port Highway, has proposed an overpass at Ballarto Rd that would cut access to the highway and force traffic on McCormicks, Hall or Thompsons roads.
The roads authority’s “preferred option” for the Western Port Highway upgrade involves converting the highway to a freeway, with interchanges at South Gippsland Highway, Glasscocks Rd, Thompsons Rd, Wedge Rd (northerly ramps only), Hall Rd and Cranbourne-Frankston Rd.
All other road and property access to the highway will be closed, including Ballarto Rd.
Frankston Council has been fighting the proposal, arguing Ballarto Rd is an essential link to the city and demanding a full interchange to provide access to and from the upgraded highway.
“Frankston City Council’s position is supportive of the Western Port Highway upgrade but with both north and south-bound interchanges at Ballarto Road, a position we have consistently put to the state government and Vicroads,” Frankston CEO Dennis Hovenden told The Times.
Mr Donnellan said the state government needed to listen to the council and community on the matter and rethink the decision.
“Without a full interchange at Ballarto Rd, we will see traffic chaos through Cranbourne and Frankston and there could be major rezoning problems on green wedge land,” Mr Donnellan said.
“The Napthine government is planning a northerly ramp interchange further north at Wedge Rd, which doesn’t even connect to the Western Port Highway – it makes no sense.
“If Western Port Highway is being turned into a freeway, access points need to be suitable for the larger amount of traffic which will use it.”
Mr Donnellan said he had written to Roads Minister Terry Mulder to voice concerns over the government’s decision to ignore Frankston Council’s views on the issue.
Ms Kilkenny said the government needed to show common sense on the issue and sit down with the City of Frankston to work toward a better outcome. “It is up to the Napthine government to come to the table, understand the concern of Frankston councillors and ensure a better outcome is achieved for Ballarto Rd,” she said.
Mr Perera said it was “bizarre” the way the Napthine government was treating Frankston Council on such a major project.
“Where’s the consultation? There’s clearly a lot of disagreement about this issue and the Napthine government is simply ignoring the major concerns of the City of Frankston and communities in Melbourne’s south-east,” he said.
Mr Hovenden welcomed the opposition’s support for a full interchange at Ballarto Rd.
“The opposition’s support of a full interchange at Ballarto Rd is welcomed, as will be any announcement by the government to the same effect,” he said.