Mayor of the Dubbo Region Ben Shields has called on the state government to fund Dubbo’s western ring road in its coming budget.
Clr Shields says Dubbo’s long term growth is dependent on transport accessibility.
“Dubbo has always been a transport hub. That’s something we are proud of. However with the growth of our city as well as increased through traffic on the Newell resulting in traffic congestion, we need to make sure that the State Government recognises that our capacity to cope with population growth and an increase in traffic numbers is limited.”
“I am particularly concerned that the $144 million River Street Bridge is not going to take any traffic off the West Dubbo roads. Traffic on the Newell Highway is growing and we are seeing more trucks than ever sweep through town,” said Councillor Shields.
Council has previously identified the long term strategic need for this important piece of transport infrastructure which is vital to the future growth and prosperity of Dubbo. In 2012 Dubbo City Council adopted a traffic strategy that would see the ring road created around the camp road area, through to the airport to a new high level Troy Bridge to the Highway.
“The ring road is certainly a lot of money to build. However, my concern is that the River Street project will cause the State Government to halt funding to Dubbo for many years. If the state is to proceed with the River Street Bridge plan, I will be looking for an absolute guarantee that the ring road will also be funded and built within a reasonable time frame,” said Councillor Shields.
Safety concerns about the high volume of traffic through West Dubbo have also been considered when developing the traffic strategy.
“We have got to be able to look the people of West Dubbo in the eye and tell them that we are not ignoring the traffic congestion that is overwhelming them. We have also got to be able to tell the whole community that we agree with them when saying large trucks rattling through town close to schools is simply not safe and a plan is in the pipeline to rectify the situation,” said Councillor Shields.
Source: Dubbo Regional Council