$6.4m upgrade for busy Sunbury intersection

VicRoads regional director Vince Punaro and Sunbury MP Josh Bull at the interesction. (SUPPLIED)

Sunbury’s most notorious traffic hotspot will get a $6.4 million upgrade, with lights set to replace the roundabout at the intersection of Gap Road and Horne Street.

Roads Minister Luke Donnellan joined Sunbury MP Josh Bull at the dangerous intersection on Monday to announce long-awaited works designed to improve safety and ease traffic congestion.

The project, which is expected to be completed in 2018, will include turning lanes from all directions, pedestrian crossings and bicycle lanes.

Footpaths will also give pedestrians safer routes to the town centre, schools and public transport.

Works are expected to start mid to late next year, with a small amount of land having to be compulsorily acquired to allow for approaches to be widened.

‘‘The new traffic lights will reduce queuing at the intersection and allow locals to get where they need to go safely and quickly,’’ Mr Donnellan said.

‘‘The upgrade will ensure that residents are able to drive through this intersection safely.’’

About 21,500 vehicles travel on Horne Street each day, and 18,000 on Gap Road.

‘‘It’s got to the stage where something’s got to be done,’’ Mr Donnellan said.

‘‘With that amount of traffic, a roundabout’s just not going to work any more.’’

Black spot

The intersection, which connects to Riddell Road and the Calder Freeway, is an official ‘black spot’ junction, with VicRoads figures showing seven casualty crashes in the most recent five-year period. It was rated as the state’s eighth-worst traffic congestion hotspot in the 2014 RACV redspot survey.

A growing number of vehicles, combined with boomgates at the level crossing 200 metres south, have made for significant traffic disruptions in the town centre, especially during school and work peak hours.

Mr Bull said he had fought hard for the upgrade after many years of active campaigning by residents, groups including Sunbury Residents Association and Hume council, and state upper house MP Bernie Finn.

‘‘This has been a real hot issue for a long time … in the morning and afternoon peaks it cuts off the town and there’s some real safety concerns,’’ Mr Bull said.

‘‘This is a great day for Sunbury, a great day.’’

Mr Finn said said he was delighted that lobbying efforts had paid off.

‘‘All we need now is the government to hurry up and build it.’’