Action wanted on 'mad mile' section of Princes Highway

Ugrade needed: Member for South West Coast Roma Brittnell is part of a bipartisan push by local politicians for an upgrade of the 'mad mile' section of the Princes Highway between Tower Hill and Illowa. Picture: Rob Gunstone
Ugrade needed: Member for South West Coast Roma Brittnell is part of a bipartisan push by local politicians for an upgrade of the 'mad mile' section of the Princes Highway between Tower Hill and Illowa. Picture: Rob Gunstone

State and federal politicians have united in a bipartisan approach to call for an upgrade of the ‘mad mile’ stretch of the Princes Highway between Illowa and Tower Hall following this week’s road death on the notorious section.

Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell said motorists travelling on the highway section would be put at more risk as Koroit, Port Fairy and Warrnambool continued to grow. 

“If duplication between Warrnambool and Port Fairy is the best way to do it then so be it," she said. "But we should also be looking at altered line markings, wider verges and new slip ways to allow for safe turning into the lanes and roads that run off that section of highway.”

VicRoads said it would conduct a full review of the highway section, when the police investigation was completed, to assess what safety improvements could be done.

VicRoads acting south-west director Emma Miller-Olsen said it was currently preparing a business case for further overtaking lanes on the Princes Highway west of Colac and would “work with the community to identify sites where these overtaking lanes will provide the best result for motorists”.

Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said the state government needed to implement safety upgrades on the Princes Highway “as a priority”.

Mr Tehan said the federal government had given the state government $40 million at the last election for safety upgrades on the highway and would “continue to support the Victorian state government in honouring its commitments to improving road safety on south-west Victorian roads”.

Member for Western Victoria James Purcell said adding passing lanes to the ‘mad mile’ was challenging because of the number of houses close to the highway.  

He said slip lanes should be built at the highway’s intersections with minor roads along the section so traffic was better able to pass vehicles that had stopped to turn off the highway.

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