GREG'S LEGACY

Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

Whitfield Road – repairs needed

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Friday, 20 January 2006

Local residents took advantage of the presence in the King Valley last week of Nationals Member for Benalla, Bill Sykes and Leader of the Victorian Nationals, Peter Ryan, to highlight their concerns about the unsafe condition of the King Valley section of the Wangaratta-Whitfield Road.
Michael Newton of J.A. Newton Bus Service is very concerned about the safety of school children and charter bus passengers.
Mr Newton has written to Dr Sykes stating … “at times our buses have to travel on the wrong side of the road to avoid excessively large pot holes. Also the road is not wide enough when the bus meets oncoming vehicles.”
Dr Sykes said, “This concerns me greatly as the last thing we want to do is to put the lives of our children at risk. In addition to concerns regarding buses, local wine makers Arnie Pizzini and David Maple expressed concerns regarding the risks associated with the many B doubles which travel on the road.
“Nationals Leader, Peter Ryan and I were shown road pavement in very poor condition in something which locals attribute to increased heavy vehicle traffic.”
Dr Sykes continued, “VicRoads have done an excellent job in replacing several kilometres of road pavement closer to Moyhu and this highlights the grossly unsatisfactory nature of the King Valley section.”
Dr Sykes concluded, “I will raise the issue with the Minister for Transport, Peter Batchelor and seek his support for upgrading this important road so that locals and visitors to the area may drive safely and comfortably through the King Valley.”

Greg’s comment:

The Whitfield Road surely does need an upgrade … but it is only the tip of the iceberg. Bill Sykes and Peter Ryan might also like to look at the Benalla – Whitfield Road. The section between Myrrhee and Whitfield is one of the worst gravel roads in the upper king Valley.

This road is an enigma as, undoubtedly a Vicroads connector, it continues straight into the Boggy Creek Road whilst the gravel sectioned Benalla-Whitfield Road takes a right turn accross to Whitfield. It seems the Vicroads people have never noticed this dilemna.

The Rural City of Wangaratta, on the other hand, have assumed that this section falls under their jurisdiction as they allocated funds a couple of years ago to seal a section of it – but, of course, the money was never spent.

The Benalla – Whitfield Road is every bit as important to King Valley tourism as the Mansfield – Whitfield Road. Look what sealing the last seven kilometres of that road did for tourism in the King Valley. Connecting Benalla to Whitfield with a sealed road should do more as it is being fed by the Hume Highway.

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Written by Greg Naylor

25 January 2006 at 4:15 pm

Posted in media release

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