Opposition spokesperson for roads Jodi McKay has called on the NSW government to “restore faith in the community” and put an end to congestion issues at Hillsborough with funding for a signaled intersection in the state budget.
At a meeting with residents on Thursday, Ms McKay and Charlestown MP Jodie Harrison said accessibility to Hillsborough needs to be “urgently fixed” after years of residents’ fighting for action.
The group met on the corner Hillsborough Road and Chadwick Street – one of two entrances to the suburb’s residential area which locals say are a concern.
Ms Harrison recently obtained a draft copy of the yet-to-be-completed Lake Macquarie Transport Study, which lists Hillsborough Road and Chadwick Street as a short-term priority to be upgraded to a signalised intersection.
“What it does is provide evidence that this is the number one priority for Lake Macquarie,” Ms McKay said.
“There are two things: one is that the government has to make sure that this funding is available and this intersection is urgently fixed; the second thing is, they need to give an undertaking on when this traffic study will be officially released.”
Earlier this month, Hillsborough residents met with Ms Harrison, penning postcards to the NSW Minister for Roads, Melinda Pavey. Ms Harrison said about 450 were sent to the minister.
Ms McKay said Labor would provide funding for works should they win the next state election in 2019.
“It does not require a great deal of money to do this,” she said. “It just seems extraordinary, given it’s the number one priority and there’s been such urgency around it, that they still haven’t done it.”
Hillsborough-raised Michael Nolan, who began a campaign to fix the road eight years ago, said residents are forced to wait up to 15 minutes to leave the suburb in peak traffic.
“People keep their breakfast with them in their cars because they know they’re going to be lining up [to turn out of the suburb],” he said.
“Hillsborough Road was never meant to be a main arterial road.
“We’ve done as much as we can as a community to get this done.”
The 2018-19 state budget will be delivered on Tuesday.