Cause for concern - Rhiannon Tuffield

September 19, 2017

Residents on the Tatura-Murchison Rd earlier this year.

The road pictured eaerlier this year before recent works.

For more than a year, Tatura resident Lisa Niglia has fought to improve a road she believes is neglected and putting the lives of drivers at risk.

But since her campaign around improving the Murchison-Tatura Rd began, Ms Niglia believes her efforts have fallen on deaf ears, despite significant community support.

A petition, launched late last year by Ms Niglia, highlighted the road’s significant safety issues, which continue to include metre-wide potholes, untamed vegetation, a lack of shoulders and narrow lanes.

Ms Niglia said the situation was further exacerbated by cars which sped over the limit and road trains that had barely enough room to pass each other.

‘‘I’ve lived here for 27 years and have seen dramatic change to this road to the point that it really has reached its used-by date, which is unacceptable when it’s a gateway to the Hume Fwy,’’ Ms Niglia said.

‘‘I’ve been contacting VicRoads for a long time, but they continue to pass the buck.’’

Murchison-Tatura Rd is a major arterial road connecting Shepparton, Murchison and Tatura and carries an average of 1575 vehicles a day, including trucks, farm machinery and heavy vehicles.

There have been 12 crashes on the road during a five-year period, resulting in one death and 11 people being seriously injured.

The Victorian Government completed a $480000 upgrade to reconstruct and reseal a 1.2km section of the road in June, which involved the widening of road shoulders, clearing some roadside vegetation and improving drainage.

But Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell said she believed the road was still in a dangerous condition and called for a complete upgrade.

Ms Lovell said recent work had caused dips to appear in the road and potholes had already formed at either end of the resealed section.

‘‘It is clear this most recent work is similar to previous works on the road; spot repairs that prove insufficient for the large volume of users that travel the road on a daily basis,’’ Ms Lovell said.

‘‘As well as the condition of the road, thick vegetation on either side of the road prevents proper drainage, causing large pools to form on the road when it rains.

‘‘This creates a dangerous situation for motorists travelling at the zoned speed limit of 100 km/h.’’

A statement from Vic Roads said the state-run organisation anticipated it would complete further works on the Murchison-Tatura Rd before the end of the year.

‘‘(This will include) pavement and edging repairs and vegetation removal,’’ the statement read.

‘‘In the meantime, VicRoads is conducting extra surveillance patrols on this road to monitor the condition and to address any issues.’’

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