There’s no doubt that once major roads are ‘duplicated’ with two lanes in each direction, separated by a wide median, they become much easier and safer to drive on. Drivers no longer have to constantly search for gaps to overtake when they stuck behind a much slower moving vehicle. The risk of a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle is significantly reduced. The reconstruction of the road leads to a smoother ride, and other safety improvements including upgraded rest areas, crash barriers around hazards, intersection lighting where there is a risk of night-time crashes, and better line marking.
Other transport projects within Corangamite
In addition to the duplication of the Princes Highway West, it is essential that there is more Federal and State Government investment in improving the safety features of the roads that form Victoria’s major highway network. In 2014, the Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) estimated that an investment of $580 million across Victoria would save at least 2,800 people from serious injury or death on these roads over the next 20 years. This is mostly by installing flexible crash barriers, edge line and centre line rumble strips, and sealing shoulders, on locations determined to be 1-star and 2-star roads (where 5-star is the safest).
Duplication from Winchelsea to Colac will remove sections of 2-star road, particularly just east of Colac. However, other sections remain west of Colac, and much more even further west of Warrnambool within the seat of Wannon.
Projects outside of Corangamite
RACV also supports the Western Distributor project, which will widen the West Gate Freeway between the M80 Western Ring Road and West Gate Bridge, and then provide an alternative route to the West Gate Bridge, with better access to the Port of Melbourne. With many people travelling to the city from within the seat of Corangamite, particularly from the Surf Coast region, the extra lanes and alternative route will help their commute.