A PETITION calling on the state government to reverse its decision rejecting a roundabout in the town’s Avenue of Honour has secured more than 3000 signatures.
Push Back for Woolpack group president Malcolm Trask said that after sending out 5000 forms in May, the petition had 3200 signatures, with more coming in.
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Planning Minister Matthew Guy turned down plans for a roundabout on the avenue on Australia Day after protests against the VicRoads and council-endorsed roadworks, which would have seen five memorial elm trees removed.
The group had lobbied to extend Woolpack Road to the Western Highway.
The Push Back group intends to have the petition presented to State Parliament.
‘‘We’ve had massive community support so far,’’ Mr Trask said. ‘‘We have asked the community what they want and the response is fairly overwhelming, and 99per cent of it has come from Bacchus Marsh residents.
‘‘If we don’t fix our roads soon we’ll be in diabolical trouble.’’
Mr Trask said the survey would give the government comfort about reversing its decision, making way for a proposed second Avenue of Honour on an extended
‘‘What a wonderful community project that would be,’’ Mr Trask said. ‘‘This idea hasn’t been given the credit it’s due.’’
The Avenue Preservation Group, which opposed the Woolpack Road extension, claimed the petition had ‘‘many problems’’.
‘‘It’s misleadingly written as if it’s the answer to local traffic problems, but it’s a truck bypass, nothing more,’’ spokesman Damien Strangio said. ‘‘I’d like to see another Avenue of Honour too, but not on a truck bypass.’’
The preservation group has asked why council ignored a traffic study recommending the extension of Halletts Way.
It referred to a TraffixGroup study which advised council in March last year to extend Halletts Way to Griffith Street and Woolpack Road to the Western Highway.
Mr Strangio said he wanted to know why the study, found on the council website, was not referred to during a heritage hearing in June last year.
Mayor Pat Griffin said elements of the study were mentioned during the meeting.
‘‘Aspects of the study were presented; however, all of it wasn’t presented as it wasn’t pertinent,’’ he said. ‘‘The study was produced to the public in March last year.’’
The report says local traffic would become significantly congested by new residential development in West Maddingley, which is expected to create 17,410 vehicle movements a day, with more than half of those heading towards the town centre, train station and schools. The report stated Grant Street had a daily traffic volume of 18,000 vehicles.