Safety advocate backs proposed road works

January 20, 2022 BY

In support: Coordinator of the Epsom Road Safety Group, Kelly Durie, at the Midland Highway and Howard Street intersection last year. Photo: FILE

A PROMINENT road safety advocate is putting her support behind the Midland Highway and Howard Street intersection works being proposed by a developer as part of their multi-million-dollar upgrade of the Epsom Village shopping centre.

Coordinator of the Epsom Road Safety Group, Kelly Durie, has been campaigning for safety upgrades to the intersection after two Epsom Primary School students were hit by a car last year.

She hopes council will vote in favour of the most up-to-date planning application put forth by National Retail Group at their meeting next Monday, following public objections and changes to the design.

“I’m really happy with the changes and I am going to be prepared to withdraw my objection to that development and let it go ahead,” she said.

“I really want this development to go ahead this time because I feel that if it gets knocked back from council this time around, Epsom will miss out.”

Particularly, Ms Durie said she was in support of a six-metre-wide buffer separating the road and shopping precinct added to the design after a year of consultation with the municipality and VicRoads.

“The six-metre overlay… is massive,” she said. “The development group is actually out of pocket, but we get what we need done to the roads many years quicker than what we would have if we had continued down the same path we were going.”

As part of the plans, Howard Street would also be widened which Ms Durie said would “significantly impact” traffic that can bank up to Epsom train station in peak hour.

Changes were also made to the flow of traffic surrounding the proposed Carl’s Jr restaurant, which has the capacity for 22 vehicles in its drive-thru and a plan to loop additional traffic around the Aldi on site rather than on the roads.

NRG director Michael Spektor said the road works associated with the redevelopment were aimed at future proofing the intersection for the next two to three decades.

“Our works on that intersection are a generational investment into the infrastructure and the safety of that intersection, which directly leads to the families and children at Epsom Primary School being able to live not only safely but also efficiently in the northern part of Bendigo, which is the fastest growing part of the city,” he said.