Pressure is mounting on Whittlesea council to extend Edgars Road beyond Cooper Street to O’Herns Road as soon as possible, amid concerns the connection will be delayed until 2019.
Thomastown MP Bronwyn Halfpenny has started a petition calling for the council to complete the connection to ease traffic congestion in Epping.
Edgars Road currently stretches from Mahoneys Road in Thomastown to Cooper Street in Epping, but there are plans to continue the road from Willandra Drive in Epping to O’Herns Road.
Ms Halfpenny said the council must complete the extension as Edgars Road is a council road and not an arterial road.
She raised the issue in Parliament earlier this month, asking Planning Minister Richard Wynne to find out why the council was taking so long to complete the road.
“We need council to urgently complete the connection of Edgars Road from Cooper Street to O’Herns Road. We can’t wait until 2019, the date council say they will do it,” she said.
“We call on the council to fulfil its promise to the residents of Thomastown district to take responsibility and complete this road.”
The council’s recently adopted Roads and Public Transport Plan lists Edgars Road as an arterial road.
The plan states the extension is a very high priority, adding that it would provide an alternative north-south connection to Epping Road by redistributing traffic through Epping and Epping North.
It states the Edgars Road extension would also ease congestion on High, Miller and Cooper streets.
Whittlesea mayor Ricky Kirkham said the council would negotiate with the developer who recently bought the land which the road will run through to ensure it is built as soon as possible.
However, he said the council was also advocating for the extension be constructed as a duplicated arterial road with additional funding from the state government.
Without government funding, the extension will be built as a single lane council road using developer contributions.
Cr Kirkham said the council believed the extension needed to have more than one lane to cope with congestion.
“We were disappointed that funding for the construction of roads like Edgars Road, and improvements to existing congested arterial roads, was not announced through the recent state budget as part of a northern outer suburbs arterial roads package, similar to the package that is being delivered to Melbourne’s west,” he said.