Politicians on both sides urged to fix our roads

ROAD FIX: Illowa residents Shirley and David Watts say unless there are changes to the Princes Highway the potential for a catastrophe remains. Picture: Rob Gunstone
ROAD FIX: Illowa residents Shirley and David Watts say unless there are changes to the Princes Highway the potential for a catastrophe remains. Picture: Rob Gunstone

AN Illowa resident says there is the potential for a catastrophe on the Princes Highway.

The resident’s comments come as The Standard called on politicians of both persuasions to use a bipartisan approach to fix roads in the south-west.

On Thursday a 62-year-old Koroit man died in the Royal Melbourne Hospital, less than 24 hours after a head-on accident on the Princes Highway in Illowa.

A father and his daughter were killed in another tragic accident in 2006 on the same stretch of road.

David Watts has lived next to the section of highway, known locally as the ‘mad mile,’ for more than 10 years. He said the highway attracted a lot of traffic and it was always risky when motorists were attempting to turn off.

“You have to really concentrate and if there is a truck behind you then you don’t attempt it,” he said. “There is the potential for a catastrophe. There is a lot of traffic.”

Mr Watts estimated there were about 15 to 20 cars on the highway every minute. “Even in the middle of the day it’s busy,” he said. “I don’t know if reducing the speed limit will solve the problem.” 

Clinton Baulch, who lives off Fitzgibbons Lane that intersects with the ‘mad mile’ section of the Princes Highway, said slip lanes needed to be built at the highway’s intersections with roads going off the highway.

David Watts

David Watts

Mr Baulch said when he stopped to turn into Fitzgibbons Lane, he often wondered if vehicles approaching from the rear had realised he had stopped. 

Moyne Shire Mayor Mick Wolfe said safety on south-west roads was a priority and the council was looking forward to further improvements on the Princes Highway.

“All shires in the south-west are constantly pushing for improvements,” he said.

“I know that Roma Britnell and James Purcell are putting our case to the state government. I guess it’s just the sooner the better.”