A street in the new Mernda town centre will be named after a group of community advocates who secured the extension of the rail line to South Morang and Mernda.

Whittlesea councillors recently voted unanimously to name the future main road on the western side of the Mernda train station “Alliance” after the South Morang and Mernda Rail Alliance (SMMRA).

A plaque will also be installed in the town centre naming its members.

The SMMRA was formed in 2005 to help campaign for the state government to honour a promise to extend the rail line to South Morang. In 2009 the group took up the fight to continue the line to Mernda.

Mayor Ricky Kirkham, who put forward a notice of motion calling for the street to be named after the group, said he could not think of a better way to honour the SMMRA.

“I think this will be a fitting way of recognising all [their] work in securing this great infrastructure for our city,” Cr Kirkham said

SMMRA spokesman Darren Peters said the group was thrilled by the honour.

“Our fight to win the South Morang and Mernda railway extensions deserves to be remembered in local history,” he said.

“Not many gave us any chance of winning against our unsupportive local MPs and the state government, but we knew that the Plenty Valley was about to become the fastest growth area in the nation and that we had to fight for the railway or else all of us would be sitting in endless congestion.

“For all of time, locals will know that it was not politicians that brought rail to Mernda, but the residents themselves.”