Wait continues for deathtrap fix

Residents have been pushing for safety improvements along Ballarat Road.

By Tate Papworth

“How many more people have to die before this is fixed?”

It’s a question Albion locals have asked themselves for years as they fight for safety improvements along a fatal stretch of road.

Fed up residents today took their anger to the street, with about 70 people protesting at the corner of Hulett Street and Ballarat Road.

This year, two pedestrians have been killed and a third is on life support after being hit by vehicles between Hulett Street and the M80.

VicRoads, Brimbank Police, the Brimbank council and residents all agree that the stretch of road is unsafe, but safety improvements could still be at least a month away.

As previously reported by Star Weekly, VicRoads has earmarked three intersections along the stretch of road for safety upgrades.

Despite acknowledging it as a hazard, upgrades have not been funded.

VicRoads chief executive Robyn Seymour told 3AW last week that safety fixes are coming, but not immediately. 

“Obviously infrastructure upgrades take quite a lot of time  … I have referred this matter to our experts in our safe system infrastructure group to look at what we can do short term to manage the risks in this area until we can get the longer-term solutions in place,” Ms Seymour said.

“We’ve got to look at what we can do as quickly as possible. I’ve given them a month to look at what we can do and then we’ve got to develop long term solutions that make sure that these kinds of fatalities … is prevented.”

Brimbank Highway Patrol Sergeant Andy Oakley has been a leading voice in calling for safety upgrades along the road.

Sergeant Oakley told Star Weekly that lowering the speed limit would be a good starting point.

“Too many people have been injured or killed on that road,” he said. 

“Until it’s fixed, the speed limit needs to be reduced – 80km/h is fast. Given the number of pedestrians on the road, until there are sufficient crossings and breaks in traffic, it needs to be no higher than 60km/h.”