By BRIDGET SCOTT
RESIDENTS from Lynbrook and surrounding suburbs are up in arms following the announcement that VicRods may close Northey Road.
Members of the Lynbrook Residents Associations (LRA) packed the gallery of the City of Casey Council Chambers last Tuesday and erupted in applause when Councillor Wayne Smith’s motion was passed.
Cr Smith has backed the LRA’s push for the road to remain open, which is a major connector and entry road into Lynbrook.
VicRoads announced they may close the road as part of developments to the Western Port Highway which Cr Smith believed is due to financial reasons.
“In order to keep Northey Road, they would have to buy land, which they won’t do,” he said.
Cr Smith said the removal of Northey Road would add extra travel time to road users in the area.
“They would have to travel around Thompsons Road or the South Gippsland Highway to get in and out of Lynbrook,” he said.
“In some instances, this would take a long time, particularly during peak hour.”
At a council meeting this week, councillors passed a motion which meant council would write to VicRoads in regards to the planning of the Western Port Highway. It would express community concerns around the closure of Northey Road. Council will also request that the road remains open and that VicRoads undertake further consultation with the community.
LRA president Chris Morgan said the group was “very concerned about the potential road closure.”
He said residents and group members were particularly upset that they didn’t receive any formal notification about the closure of the road.
“The community that makes use of that road didn’t know anything about it, until it was upon us,” he said.
“It would have looked as if nobody was concerned.”
He said this road was “a connector that we rely on” and that “Northey Road is most convenient.”
“Cutting off one connector would be a severe annoyance for everybody.”
Mr Morgan said the group were afraid of what might happen if emergency services had to gain quick access into Lynbrook.
“The only way in and out will be the South Gippsland Highway,” he said.
VicRoads Metropolitan South East Acting Regional director Con Stasinos said the potential closure of some surrounding roads in the area would help provide a “safe and efficient freeway.”
“The future upgrade of the Western Port Highway between South Gippsland Freeway and Cranbourne-Frankston Road to a freeway will include the provision of interchanges to provide access between the freeway and cross-arterial road,” he said.
“Properties affected by the proposed future closure of Northey Road will be able to make use of South Gippsland Highway, including its interchanges with Western Port Highway and its intersections with local roads within the Lynbrook area to access the surrounding road network.”
He added that while this is a possibility, there are no concrete plans for this to go ahead.
“There is currently no funding to construct the freeway, and as such, no change to access between Western Port Highway and Northey Road is proposed at this time.”