Calls for Duplication of Narrow Highway - 20 April 2017

Published on 21 April 2017

City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley has written to the new Minister for Transport  the Hon. Rita Saffioti  MLA requesting that the State Government give priority to duplicating the 17.5km section of single-lane highway linking the Shire of Capel with the City of Busselton in the State’s South West.

The call comes on the back of several recent traffic accidents on this narrow section of Bussell Highway, which local people, South West Councils and emergency response agencies consider particularly dangerous.

“This single-lane section of busy highway is ineffective and needs upgrading urgently,” said Mayor Henley. “You have the situation where drivers have been travelling along the dual carriageway at high speed for extended distances and then, quite suddenly, the highway narrows to single lane. The speed limit remains at 110km, the volume of traffic does not suddenly drop – this is potentially confusing and frustrating particularly for drivers who may not be familiar with the highway and may be fatigued from travelling long distances.

We’ve seen too many road accidents along this section of the highway over past years.  Many of these accidents have been serious and, sadly, there have been fatalities.  We’re asking the State Government to give priority to this upgrade,” said Mayor Henley.

Bussell Highway, which is the responsibility of Main Roads WA, is one of the State’s busiest regional highways.  January 2017 road count figures reveal that on average 13,927 vehicles use this section of Bussell Highway every day and that just under 10% of these vehicles are classified ‘heavy’.  This daily figure increases to more than 17,000 on a Friday when the volume of commuters and holiday makers on the highway spikes ahead of the weekend.  

Along with other neighbouring Local Governments and the Local Member for Vasse Libby Mettam MLA, the City of Busselton has been actively lobbying the State Government to upgrade this section of narrow highway for several years.  

The City of Busselton is embarking on a major upgrade of its local road network with particular focus on improving entry points into the Busselton CBD to improve safety and better meet current and future traffic demands.

“This section of inadequate and dangerous highway contributes to the significant congestion we see during peak holiday season. It is also the site of too many accidents. I am writing to the State Government to impress upon them the very real need to act now in order to minimise the risk of future road trauma along this narrow stretch of highway,” Mayor Henley said.

Outcomes and objectives outlined in this statement align with Key Goal Area 4 in the City of Busselton’s Strategic Community Plan:  A Well connected City that provides for safe, accessible and efficient transport and communication systems to and within the district.

Photos available for use.  Ends. Media enquiries can be directed to media@busselton.wa.gov.au