‘Long’ delays plague morning commute

Cloverton estate residents are experiencing major delays leaving the estate. (Supplied)

Michaela Meade

Residents of a Kalkallo estate say they are facing delays of more than 30 minutes when exiting the estate in the morning as a result of traffic on nearby Donnybrook Road.

Kalkallo resident and admin of the Kalkallo Community Facebook group Ally Watson said the issues around Cloverton estate’s only exit, Dwyer Street, have been the cause of “significant conversation” in the community over the past year.

“The combination of a steadily increasing population together with the return of school and more people back to the office has increased the level of traffic attempting to exit the estate in the mornings,” Ms Watson said

“Long wait times to reach Donnybrook Road has created frustration amongst drivers, fuelling the community’s existing concerns.

“Community members have regularly shared their anger and irritation [on Facebook]. Every time these posts spark an outcry from the community.”

Ms Watson said residents have not been told about any plans to address the issue.

“The community is feeling left in the dark about infrastructure planning that would see additional exits to the estate, reducing the reliance on the Dwyer Street exit,” Ms Watson said.

“The community wants to see action. This is our home, leaving on a daily commute should not be the cause of so much frustration and anger.”

Hume council planning and development director Michael Sharp said the council is in conversation with developers Stockland about possible solutions to reduce congestion.

“[Options include] reviewing the intersection with Donnybrook Road, and traffic signals to give greater priority to Dwyer Street traffic,” Mr Sharp said.

“There are two major road projects to alleviate some of the pressure on Dwyer Street – the Cloverton Boulevard connection to Donnybrook Road and the Gunns Gully Road [freeway] interchange.”

Mr Sharp said the state government needs to step in to address the wider issue.

“While these projects will help, we believe the roundabout at Donnybrook Road and Mitchell Street will continue to cause major flow-on delays in the area without significant investment … to ease traffic coming from the west,” Mr Sharp said.

Stockland Corporation said it understands the concerns of residents. The developer is in discussions with Hume council and Transport Victoria about a second entry point for Cloverton.

“We’re also working in partnership with the state government via the Victorian Planning Authority and Department of Transport to deliver the new freeway interchange at Gunns Gully Road,” Stockland said.

The Department of Transport said it is investigating improvements to the Hume Freeway between the M80 Ring Road and Watson Street in Wallan, including at the Donnybrook Road interchange.

The department said any changes to improve the operation of Donnybrook Road between Dwyer Street and the roundabout at the interchange with Hume Freeway will be considered in the context of other transport improvements in the area.