A proposed link road connecting the Midland Highway and Western Freeway to take trucks out of the centre of Buninyong has been ruled out after a year-long investigation.
Regional Roads Victoria said the 12-month traffic movement study found the proposed link road would not significantly reduce the number of heavy vehicles travelling through town.
"The traffic study showed that roughly only 18 percent of all heavy vehicles that travel through Buninyong might use a proposed east link road, which means not enough trucks would be removed to adequately address safety issues," said RRV chief regional roads officer Paul Northey.
Most of the concern surrounds the Midland Highway and Warrenheip Street roundabout, particularly the downhill slope that trucks travelling toward Ballarat must negotiate.
Locals have pushed for more than two years for roads authorities to investigate the link road option, which would have potentially upgraded Yankee Flat Road to link the freeway and highway from Buninyong to Warrenheip.
Mr Northey said while evidence did not support construction of a link road, a range of other "traffic calming measures and safer crossing points for pedestrians would be considered to address the safety concerns of residents.
He said new signage erected on the outskirts of Buninyong and unique road markings painted would "provide a visual reminder to drivers that they ... need to slow down."
Talks will be held between Ballarat council, police and locals about further safety measures.
"Some of the other options we're keen to examine more closely include the installation of a signalised pedestrian crossing on the Midland Highway near the existing school crossing and additional crossing points for pedestrians near the Buninyong Golf Club and De Soza Park, and Winter Street," Mr Northey said.
Buninyong and District Community Association president Gayle Adams said she was pleased with some of the traffic calming measures to come out of the study, but said it had not really addressed the need to remove heavy vehicles from travelling through Buninyong.
"The volume of traffic has increased significantly since the last traffic study in 2012, and with growth in the western zone of Ballarat and the proposed Ballarat link road connecting to the Midland Highway it will feed more traffic on to the road.
"It's not just about heavy vehicles, but the long term increase in traffic coming through Buninyong," she said. "We need to plan now for when that comes in to effect - it's a long term plan so that in 20 years time we will have a solution."
In September 2017 the state government announced that $150,000 would be spent investigating the possibility of establishing a new link road, and locals had been awaiting the outcome since then.
Ballarat South Ward councillor Ben Taylor said it was disappointing that nothing had come about after all the work that had been done, and all potential options should have been investigated rather than just the eastern Yankee Flat Road route.
"Work needs to be done to bypass trucks coming through Buninyong. It's about the future and what we need as Ballarat grows and industry grows. We don't want a link road around Ballarat changing how traffic moves around that, when connected up, changes how it moves through Buninyong on the Midland Highway.
"It should have been a broader look at what would be the best avenue for heavy vehicles instead of going through Buninyong," he said.
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