A safety audit of Mona Vale Road has been refused by the NSW Government.

In the wake of public anger over cancellation of the Mona Vale Road West upgrade by the NSW Government in the last budget, NSW Opposition Leader Mark Speakman and Member for Pittwater Rory Amon recently visited the site of the cancelled upgrade.

With the eastern section of the Mona Vale Road upgrade project nearing completion, the NSW Government withdrew $340m in funding allocated to completing the western section, between the Baha’i Temple at Ingleside and McCarrs Creek Road, Terrey Hills.

Liberal Leader Mark Speakman at Mona Vale Road

At the time, Mr Speakman (image above) expressed concern at the cancellation of the western section, given the volume and type of traffic on the narrow section of road.

“This project is not just about reducing congestion, it’s also an important safety measure as well. It’s extraordinarily disappointing that Labor would cancel it. I’m standing here at 10.15am and it is non-stop traffic. I’d hate to see what it’s like at peak hour,” said Mr Speakman in November.

Four injured at black spot

Recent crashes on the incomplete section of roadway had resulted in serious injuries and closed the road entirely, sometimes for hours at a time, causing traffic chaos across the Northern Beaches.

Concerned about ongoing safety issues with the incomplete roadworks, Pittwater MP Rory Amon (image below) asked a question of NSW Roads Minister John Graham in the NSW Parliament at the end of November 2023.

“Does the Government have any current plans to commission a safety audit of Mona Vale Road West to understand the safety risks posed by the construction site and a road which halves in width along the western section? If yes, when is the audit planned to be undertaken? If no, why has a safety audit not been commissioned?” asked Mr Amon.

Rory Amon speaking in NSW Parliament

Minister Graham’s response to the question on notice was issued just before Christmas, and put on the public record this week.

John Graham

John Graham

“I am advised: The Mona Vale Road West upgrade project is deferred for two years following the 2023 NSW Independent Strategic Infrastructure Review. Transport for NSW commissions Road Safety Audits as part of its project development stages. As the project has been deferred, there will be no Road Safety Audits for the Mona Vale Road West upgrade commissioned at this time,” responded Minister Graham.

Previously allocated funds for the western section upgrade have been withdrawn. Minister Graham had previously claimed the work was ‘deferred’ for two years, but according to official NSW Government budget documents, no funds have been allocated in the next four years for work to recommence. NSW Premier Chris Minns is also on the public record, telling ABC Radio Sydney the upgrade was not necessary.

Mona Vale Road, Ingleside, near Kimbriki Road

Mr Amon has condemned the NSW Government’s refusal to conduct a safety audit of the incomplete Mona Vale Road upgrade. He said the failure to address safety concerns meant the NSW Government will be responsible for any tragic consequences.

“This Minns Labor Government continues to treat the people of Pittwater with contempt. First, they cut the upgrade. Now, even more maliciously, they refuse to conduct a safety audit which would help keep people safe by implementing interim safety measures and which would also reveal the consequences of their decision.

“The Mona Vale Road West upgrade would have improved safety, saved lives and reduced congestion. It’s now more dangerous than ever, with the road narrowing from four lanes to two lanes along the most dangerous section. Chris Minns’ Government is putting lives at risk.

“If Labor won’t fund the $340m upgrade now, they must assess the safety of the road and implement temporary safety measures until the road is upgraded.

“Every injury and life lost on Mona Vale Road West from here on lays at the feet of Chris Minns and his Government. I am again calling on the Government to urgently undertake a safety audit of Mona Vale Road West and implement its recommendations immediately,” said Mr Amon.

Mr Amon said public reaction to his petition has been overwhelming, with almost 15,000 signatures calling on the NSW Government to reinstate funding to complete the Mona Vale Road West upgrade.

Images: Ingleside Rural Fire Brigade, Northern Beaches Advocate, Channel Nine

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