Labor adds to Mitchell Freeway Misery


Labor’s decision to scrap plans for widening sections of the Mitchell Freeway southbound would add to the daily frustration of northern-suburbs commuters, North Metropolitan MLC Tjorn Sibma said today.

He said northern suburbs families and commuters faced more congestion and more time on the Mitchell freeway.

Labor has stopped the project to widen the Mitchell Freeway between Hodges Drive to Hepburn Avenue and Reid Highway to Erindale Road designed to reduce morning commute times.

 Mr Sibma said: “New Labor members in the northern suburbs should hang their heads in shame. This is their first real test as being part of the McGowan Labor government and they have let the people in the northern suburbs down.”

He said the projects planned to be completed in 2019 had been identified as congestion hot spots.

The Labor Government’s budget papers showed $74 million previously allocated by the Liberal National Government had been discontinued and funding had been transferred to other projects.

Main Roads had identified the additional lanes as high priorities as part of the overall freeways upgrade.

Mr Sibma said these projects would have addressed significant congestion and removed bottlenecks at Erindale Road, Whitfords Avenue and Ocean Reef Road.

He said that in 2016 Infrastructure Australia had determined the Mitchell Freeway would become the most congested route in Australia by 2031 and therefore these two projects required immediate action.

Reports have shown the Mitchell Freeway carries 190,000 vehicles a day and in addition to significant congestion and rear-end crashes, which comprise 74 per cent of all crashes, northern suburbs commuters will spend more time in their cars and less time with their families.

Mr Sibma said: “I call on the Labor Government to reinstate this project and address the congestion of the northern section of the Mitchell Freeway immediately.”

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Zak Kirkup