Truck drivers on road to relief

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State plans to duplicate Thompsons Road have brought a sense of “relief” to local businesses based along the Thompsons Road thoroughfare.

Dandy Premix has had a site between Berwick-Clyde Road and Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road for the past 15 years.

It operates a truck fleet of about 20 vehicles and 15 concrete agitators, and has faced delays due to the congestion on Thompsons Road.

Sustainability manager Garry Cranny said it was a “very busy” section of Thompsons Road and the high volume of traffic was a “major impediment” to business efficiency.

“We’re a vehicle-based industry, producing and delivering concrete and the current situation is outdated and dangerous.

“We’re on Thompsons Road all day every day, six days a week – from 5.30am until late in the day.

“There are three or four similar businesses in that vicinity so there’s a lot of heavy-vehicle transport on the road.

“We are very relieved as much as we are pleased by the state budget announcement of $154 million for the duplication project.

“It addresses a long-standing need to upgrade a very dangerous and heavily used section of Thompsons Road.

“There’s been exponential growth in traffic because of massive residential developments in the area to the east and north of our site.

“Upgrading this section of Thompsons Road will be the catalyst for development to commence in the rezoned Cranbourne North Service Business Precinct (CNSBP) on the northern side of Thompsons Road for employment purposes that has the potential to create hundreds of local jobs.”

But Mr Cranny said federal backing would more quickly deliver the road and provide more certainty around the development.

“It’s best done in partnership between all tiers of government. The councils and State Government have supported the project but federal funding would deliver the road and other crucial infrastructure works to Casey and Cardinia in a more timely manner.

“Further funding is needed to continue the upgrade of this major transport route east to Cardinia Road to service the rapidly developing areas of Cardinia and Clyde, part of the strategic Pakenham-Cranbourne corridor.

“We should not be addressing these infrastructure needs retrospectively, 10-20 years after their identified need.

“Basic infrastructure, like road transport and telecommunications, should be in place first to support a mix of residential development and employment creation in the region.”

Mr Cranny said he hoped that other “critical” business infrastructure – particularly telecommunications – would be installed as part of the road duplication.

“Telecommunications is hopelessly lacking here and the lack of these basic types of infrastructure, roads and telecommunications are currently hampering local business efficiency and stifling opportunities for future growth and employment.

“The duplication will also provide desperately needed road safety improvements.”

A proposed east-west industrial connector road would serve as an alternative access point for heavy vehicles to enter and exit Thompsons Road. The new access point would be via a signalised intersection at Bray Boulevard.

Another business along Thompsons Road is developer PE Capital that recently acquired a 40,000 square-metre site on Thompsons Road between Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road and Berwick-Cranbourne Road.

Project director Gayan Peiris said the business planned to build a service station, food outlets, a retail store and other developments later this year.

“As the surrounding townships develop, there’ll be more opportunity for our business to grow,” Mr Peiris said.

“The upgrade will certainly improve the amount of cars coming in and it will be a positive boost to our business having the infrastructure there.

“The greater the volume of traffic flowing past our site, the more likely we’ll be to get their business.”

Originally published at Pakenham Gazette.

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About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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