Benambra MP Bill Tilley says Hume Freeway in Wodonga may undergo speed reduction in response to VicRoads review

REDUCING the speed limit on the Hume Freeway in Wodonga has been floated by the member for Benambra.

Bill Tilley made the suggestion in responding to VicRoads reviewing safety, access and congestion on 16 kilometres of the freeway between the Logic industrial estate and NSW border.

About 30 cameras were set up at 12 major intersections along the freeway and in Wodonga last week to record traffic numbers.

VicRoads North East manager Nicki Kyriakou said greater usage of the freeway had prompted the review.

“Our current data indicates that the Hume Freeway at Wodonga carries 25,000 vehicles per day, with 7000 being heavy vehicles,” Ms Kyriakou said.

“This combined with local traffic using the freeway as an east-west bypass of Wodonga has seen an increase in crashes and reduced the travel speed on the freeway during peak periods. 

Looking at you: Cameras monitor vehicles on either side of Wodonga's Melrose Drive as part of VicRoads research. Picture: MARK JESSER

Looking at you: Cameras monitor vehicles on either side of Wodonga's Melrose Drive as part of VicRoads research. Picture: MARK JESSER

“We are undertaking a study to look at traffic movements and volumes.

“The camera survey is part of the data collection.

“We are also developing plans to get out to the community and collect their ideas and thoughts on how this section of the network can be improved.”

Wodonga’s Hume Freeway 110km/h bypass opened in 1985 and in 2007 the route was extended through Albury from its previous terminus at High Street.

Mr Tilley said population growth since then had put greater stress on the road and improvements were needed.

“There may well be a speed reduction along that section if it makes it safer,” Mr Tilley said.

On the job: Contractors with one of the cameras which was installed at the intersection of Moorefield Park Drive and Melbourne Road in Wodonga as part of VicRoads data collection.

On the job: Contractors with one of the cameras which was installed at the intersection of Moorefield Park Drive and Melbourne Road in Wodonga as part of VicRoads data collection.

The Liberal MP declined to nominate a reduced speed limit figure such as 80km/h which now applies at certain periods at the freeway’s intersection with McKoy Street in west Wodonga.

Mr Tilley also said a variety of options should be considered for the McKoy Street crossing, including an overpass and blocking it off.

He added that new ramps on the western side of Melrose Drive should also be considered along extra lanes on the freeway.

Ms Kyriakou said all options would up for consideration with a report to be prepared to lobby for government funding for work.

Mr Tilley’s talk of a potential speed reduction in Wodonga coincides with him seeking feedback on his support for a 130km/h limit to be applied to the bulk of the Hume Freeway.

He has put a survey on his website asking whether the speed limit on the freeway should be 115, 120, 125, 130 or 130-plus and also whether a toll should apply to travel at that speed.

Mr Tilley also asks whether separate speed limits should apply to learner and probationary drivers.

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