The Australian and Western Australian Government have fast-tracked the release of $7 million in funding to improve safety along Indian Ocean Drive.
The funding will enable additional passing lanes to be constructed along Indian Ocean Drive between Two Rocks and Lancelin. These will include two northbound and two southbound overtaking lanes between the Ledge Point and Seabird turn-offs—both known black spots.
Construction of the first two passing lanes located either side of the Ledge Point intersection will be completed by mid-2018, while the remaining pair situated about eight kilometres further south will be built in 2018/19.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the Australian Government was investing in road safety in partnership with other levels of government.
“With the tragedies that have occurred on Indian Ocean Drive this year, we are fast-tracking $7 million of funding to build new passing lanes between Two Rocks and Lancelin as quickly as possible,” Mr Chester said.
“In the five years to December 2016, this stretch saw 137 crashes. While we continue to work out the final schedule of projects under this $44.2 million allocation with the Western Australian Government, it is clear we need to make improvements to this road as soon as possible.”
Western Australian Minister for Transport Rita Saffioti said the funding announcement followed a series of fatalities along the scenic route.
“These crashes are enormous tragedies and that’s why one of the first things I did as Minister for Transport was to request my agencies to come up with further safety options and seek federal funding,” Ms Saffioti said.
“Main Roads has also secured State Black Spot funding to install audible edge lines for approximately 30 kilometres of Indian Ocean Drive south of Seabird, with completion expected in 2018. The multi-agency safety review currently being undertaken will also recommend other treatments to help improve safety along this route.”
Federal Member for Pearce Christian Porter said road safety was an issue for all Australians, but none more so than the families and communities impacted by accidents.
“This commitment is an early recommendation from a full safety review currently being undertaken on the southern section of Indian Ocean Drive, with further recommendations expected to be made by the end of September,” Mr Porter said.
“This is a huge issue for the Pearce community and it’s great to see action being undertaken that will quite literally save lives.”
The section of Indian Ocean Drive between Two Rocks and Lancelin is more than 50 kilometres in length, and while it is the oldest section of the road it carries the most traffic: between 2,500 and 4,700 vehicles per day.
The advance funding forms part of the $44.2 million committed by the Australian Government in the 2017–18 Budget for regional projects that will improve road safety across Western Australia. The Western Australian Government has also pledged to commit a further $11 million towards these regional projects.