Henk accuses RMS of go-slow protest

Henk van de Ven
Henk van de Ven

ALBURY’S deputy mayor Henk van de Ven has slammed the NSW Roads and Maritime Services for failing to pinpoint a starting date for works on the Young Street-Borella Road bottleneck.

The council’s former local traffic committee chairman said he was stunned no firm date for works had been announced at yesterday’s meeting of RMS and senior council staff, including the city’s engineering director Brad Ferris.

Cr van de Ven said the on-going delay could be attributed to RMS being reluctant to carry out the upgrade, which would include a second right-hand-turn lane from Young Street into Borella Road.

“It is one of those bureaucratic things where they want to delay it for as long as possible,” he said.

“It might not be supported by the facts, but that is my personal view.

“If I took so long to reply to my customers’ requirements and needs, I would have been out of business half a year after I started.”

The Young Street businessman said he was present when trials on changes to the intersection were run in August 2012.

“For this process to take this amount of time without a start date is, in my view, extremely disappointing,” he said.

“I don’t think this is something RMS wants to do — they have not wanted to go along with left turns on red signals.

“There are a couple of those that have met all the guidelines, but nothing has happened.”

Cr van de Ven put a starting date for the works on the agenda at the council’s Monday night meeting when he urged staff to push for a firm commitment from RMS.

He said he sympathised with council staff because it had to deal with the RMS on a regular basis.

“They have to be a bit more diplomatic than I need to be,” he said.

Mr Ferris said the council would be working with RMS on plans and dates.

“It was a productive meeting,” he said. “We will work closely with RMS to co-ordinate the project, including co-ordination of contractors and community consultation.”

Cr van de Ven said the issue was first raised when the freeway opened in 2007 and “it hasn’t gone away”.

“It is being exacerbated every year because there is more traffic and more people live at Thurgoona and take that way home,” he said.

“It is critical to improving the traffic flow around Albury.”

The RMS couldn’t be reached for comment.