A STRETCH of the Princes Highway between Killarney and Rosebrook has had its speed limit dropped from 100km/h to 80km/h.
VicRoads made the move earlier this week.
It effectively extends the 80km/h township zone in Killarney by a further 1.3km.
Instead of turning back to 100km/h for westbound traffic near Killarney Kennels, the 80km/h zone now encompasses the intersection of the Port Fairy-Penshurst Road and the turn-off into Woodbine Road, known colloquially as Golfcourse Road.
VicRoads did not respond to The Standard’s queries in time for publication.
However it is understood that VicRoads made the move in response to concerns from local residents and accident statistics relating to the Port Fairy-Penshurst Road and Woodbine Road intersections.
Moyne Shire’s director of physical services Trev Greenberger said the council had been asked for feedback on VicRoads’ plan to drop the speed limit but had been unable to respond in time.
“We were intending to put a report to council seeking their view,” Mr Greenberger said.
“It had to go through a formal council process and we had a lot on our agendas at the time so it was going to take a couple of months.
“Obviously speed limit changes are controversial with the community so council would have (needed) to form a position on it.”
He said the council was notified “six to eight weeks ago”.
The extension of the speed limit attracted some ire on the Port Fairy Community Notice Board Facebook page, with some posters calling it “ridiculous” and an indicative of a “nanny state”.
Others criticised the lack of warning.
However some residents were supportive of the move.
The most popular comment pointed out the lowering of the speed limit added a mere 45 seconds to the journey from Port Fairy to Warrnambool.
“Maybe wake up 45 seconds earlier or (spend) a little less social media perhaps,” the commenter noted.
Other commenters backed the move, saying it would improve safety.
Another commenter asked “is it really worth getting upset about for the extra safety at the intersections in that zone?”.
Moyne Shire councillor Jordan Lockett said he would have liked to have seen more community consultation on the change, but was not opposed to the extension of the 80km/h zone.
“The major concerns (are for) people who are turning off to Dunkeld and people who are turning from Woodbine Road into a 100km/h zone,” Cr Lockett said.
“If it saves one life it’s worthwhile.”