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Petition to keep Masons Road open

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MORE than 100 City of Whittlesea residents have signed a petition requesting council reconsider the potential closure of Masons Road in Mernda and Wollert.

Council conducted a trial of Masons Road as a one-way road for six months earlier this year in response to concerns about increased traffic leading to a safety risk for motorists as well as dust and noise for local residents.

Masons Road was built as a gravel road to provide local farm access, but increasing development in the area has meant many motorists use it as an east-west cut through between Plenty Road and Epping Road.

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While council officers found the one-way trial did reduce the amount of traffic on the road significantly, it also forced some residents to detour 13 kilometres on some trips.

Council opted not to seal the road due to the associated costs, preferring instead to try to reduce the amount of traffic on the road.

A petition signed by 112 residents was presented at last week’s council meeting.

The signatories requested council reconsider the idea of closing the road ‘due to safety and inconvenience concerns of residents of Masons Road and nearby streets’.

“We support the speed humps, however, the road closure of Masons Road along with the detour we do not support,” the petition said.

“We would also support the road being closed or restricted to one way as it was during the trial in 2020. However, residential access to Masons Road from Pearson’s Road needs to remain open to homeowners.”

Council administrators resolved to consider the petition alongside a Masons Road consultation outcomes and traffic management recommendation report at the December 7 ordinary council meeting.

Chair administrator Lydia Wilson said the report, along with the residents’ petition, would inform council’s decision on what to do about Masons Road.

“There is a long history associated with the issue of traffic management, speed and increased traffic volumes on Masons Road, and there have been several resolutions by the former council on this subject,” she said.

“The last resolution was to commence a trial of one-way traffic on Masons Road, which has more recently been suspended.

“Council officers and administrators have initiated further community consultation, and this included face-to-face virtual meetings with affected residents and a survey.

“The outcomes of this process will be formally considered at the council meeting on December 7 together with the petition.”

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