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South Barwon MP Andrew Katos has launched another petition calling for traffic lights to be installed at the intersection of the Surf Coast Highway and Beach Road.
Mr Katos and shadow minister for roads and infrastructure Ryan Smith visited the intersection last week to distribute petitions and discuss the issue with Torquay Animal House owner Denis Ryan.
The Surf Coast Shire has committed more than $598,000 in funding to the works at the intersection, which has a history of crashes but is seeking matching funding from the state government.
Mr Ryan said the intersection, which is directly next to his business, was “a consistent problem” for drivers in Torquay and was particularly dangerous as it allowed U-turns in both directions.
“So it’s an absolute nightmare, nobody knows if you’re doing a U-turn or not.
“It’s a ballistic intersection; there’s an accident here once a month.” Mr Smith said funding was previously available to the shire through the former Country Roads and Bridges Program.
“The Surf Coast Shire had allocated it for this, they were getting a million dollars a year, and they were going to do it – and when you take that money away, there’s no way they can do it.” Mr Katos said the shire was partially to blame as it hoped for a state election commitment that never eventuated.
“It was very contradictory from the shire because their number one priority for a road was this intersection, yet they had funding available and didn’t use it.
“We (the Coalition) committed, Labor didn’t, and the people of Torquay lost out.
“People hear about this intersection and roll their eyes – ‘oh, Beach Road, that’s a shocker’.”
In a letter to Mr Katos on February 1, Roads Minister Luke Donnellan said the intersection was eligible for signalisation under future Safe System Road Infrastructure Program funding, but “it does not rank highly on a state-wide basis”.