Concerns raised over Bendigo transport network

Business group calls for more investment in Calder Freeway to cope with projected increase in traffic levels

By Ruza Zivkusic | June 14, 2011

Victoria’s regional city of Bendigo is at risk of coming to a standstill unless improvements are made to its transport network, the area’s business group says.

Bendigo Business Council Executive Officer Kevin de Vries is concerned of the effect renovations to the town’s hospital will have once they begin next year. Bendigo has a population of 100,000.

"They’re suggesting the hospital will need between 400 to 500 tradespeople working on the project on any time and they will all have to use utes or vans to hold their equipment," Vries says.

"That will bring a lot of heavier commercial vehicles on the Calder Freeway."

While saying the freeway serves its need, Vries adds that parts of teh route are not up to standard and need to be looked at.

"There is a need for infrastructure investment there," he says.

The City of Greater Bendigo, together with VicRoads, has developed a transport strategy which aims to provide a long- term, sustainable transport network.

Some of the key recommendations include a four-lane divided road around Bendigo central and the realignment of the arterial road network through the East Bendigo industrial area.

Bendigo Mayor Rod Fyffe says the strategy was developed to replace the Bendigo 2020 Transportation Study adopted in 1993.

"The draft strategy is a very important document because it sets out a range of major road infrastructure works designed to alleviate traffic issues with Bendigo’s ongoing growth," he says.

The Victorian Government is spending $630 million on the hospital, with construction to commence in December 2012. The project is due to be completed in 2016.

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