Upgrade needed for busy Knoxfield intersection

EXTRACT FROM  PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES HANSARD

 Tuesday, 24th February 2015

ADJOURNMENT SPEECH

 Ferntree Gully–Henderson roads, Knoxfield

Mr WELLS (Rowville) — I would like to raise a matter of concern for the Minister for Roads and Road Safety. The action I seek is an upgrade of the intersection of Ferntree Gully Road and Henderson Road in Knoxfield. This intersection has a significant amount of traffic turning right from Ferntree Gully Road into Henderson Road — particularly large truck traffic, including a large number of B‑doubles involved in food distribution.

Whilst this intersection was appropriate for the 1990s, larger trucks, the area having become more built up, more businesses moving to the area and a greater population around Knoxfield mean that this intersection is now chaotic. The main problem is that the right‑hand turning lane is too narrow and much too short. At peak times trucks line up in the turning lane, but because there are so many of them they spread out down the main road. This means traffic banks up behind the trucks that are trying to turn right. On Ferntree Gully Road traffic comes to a standstill until the trucks can turn right and free up the lane, which sometimes takes a significant amount of time.

VicRoads is aware of this problem. It has been raised by Knox City Council and I have raised it directly with VicRoads on a number of occasions, so VicRoads understands that this problem has to be fixed. The right‑hand lane needs to be extended and widened to allow large trucks to turn safely into Henderson Road. The right‑hand signal needs to be adjusted to ensure that the line of trucks can turn. At the same time, a left‑hand signal needs to be adjusted for trucks and cars coming out of Henderson Road into Ferntree Gully Road.

When we made inquiries about this early last year, VicRoads assured us it was in the capital works program for the 2015–16 financial year. I ask the minister to investigate this issue and ensure that action is taken to upgrade this intersection.