by Joshua Wells
VICROADS dropped by to visit Whittlesea residents on Thursday night, answering any questions the community had about their upcoming projects – namely the Whittlesea Plenty Road Intersection Upgrade.
The $2 million development will see the installation of traffic lights, new pedestrian walkways and better lighting on the intersection between Plenty Road and Wallan Road, Macmeikan Street and Laurel Street.
The VicRoads session at Whittlesea Primary School was a hit among those in attendance with most residents excited by the upgrades.
Whittlesea’s Kris Richmond, who was instrumental in having the road upgraded after she was nearly run over while pregnant, said she was happy the town had been heard.
“I reckon tonight was good, we finally got something done about the intersection and it will be great when it is all finished,” she said.
“The most important thing for everyone here is the safety of the children and the staff who work on the crossings… I asked a few questions and got answers.”
The street upgrade will be right out the front of the Whittlesea Primary School and principal Ty Hoggins said the school welcomed VicRoads in to talk with the community about the importance of the changes.
“This is positive improvement for the town’s infrastructure and the intersection is going to make it safer for cars and the students,” he said.
“We were happy to work with VicRoads who consulted us about tonight… we wanted to host and have everyone come here to ask questions.”
While the main focus was on the intersection, other people attended to talk about everything from the Plenty Road Duplication and the Mernda Railway Extension.
VicRoads Metro North West Region director Vince Punaro said it was good to connect with local residents.
“This event is fantastic from our perspective. We are doing these projects because the community fought for them,” he said.
“We wanted to get out and talk to people. The only way change can happen is to talk to people… we need to be honest and transparent about what we need to do.”
Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green said the night was incredibly successful and gave thanks to people like Kris Richmond for their dedication.
“This is an upgrade the community has wanted for a long time, it was to see everyone here asking questions and getting answers,” she said.
Federal Member for McEwen Rob Mitchell said the move was a good step in the right direction.
“It was a good decision for VicRoads to speak to people, but there is still more consultation to be had, some businesses aren’t sure of what is exactly happening,” he said.