KILMORE residents frustrated by a lack of progress on a bypass for the town have made their displeasure known with a series of signs on Powlett Street.
The signs, put up by the Kilmore and District Residents and Ratepayers Association (KADRRA), read ‘Where’s Our Truckin’ Bypass?’
KADRRA president Vyvienne Whitehurst said the signs were a reflection of the resentment felt by many Kilmore residents that no tangible progress had been made on a bypass several years after it was first announced.
She said inaction from the State Government and VicRoads for the past two years had been infuriating.
“We constantly get onto our local members of parliament, VicRoads and the State Government, and virtually what we get is the same letter with a different date on it,” she said.
“Nothing goes any further, we don’t have any contact and nobody gets in touch with us – we just get a letter saying it’s being looked at, but that’s been going on for seven years.
“I don’t know what the holdup is. [VicRoads] say they’ve got to have another meeting to finalise [the northern alignment of the bypass], but that was two years ago and nothing has eventuated.”
Ms Whitehurst said the flow of heavy-vehicle traffic through Kilmore would continue to worsen the longer a bypass remained unbuilt.
“I work at Freedom Care as a volunteer and not too many of the people there actually live in Kilmore but they drive through Kilmore and they all say it’s a marathon with the traffic and the trucks,” she said.
“We’ve got grandmothers trying to pick up kids from school who can’t get through. I’ve spoken to some of the shopkeepers in town and they’re just tearing their hair out.
“You come here at about 4pm and you can sit at the lights for about four sets and not get through. It’s really bad.”
Ms Whitehurst said the group aimed to work with Mitchell Shire Council to continue to push the government to start construction of the bypass.
“The council can’t do anything – they’re hamstrung. All they can do is re-zone where VicRoads wants to put it.
“We thought it was about time we started being squeaky wheels and get them to give it a push from their end, because otherwise it just gets put in the too hard file and nobody does anything.
“At a meeting we were told … it would be completed by 2017.
“We’re four years after it was meant to be completed and they haven’t shoveled a single bit of dirt.”