We’re upgrading Narre Warren North Road between Fox Road and Belgrave-Hallam Road to improve safety and travel times.
In March 2021, we shared the draft project designs with you. Of the feedback we received, 90% concerned the proposed access changes at Brundrett and Crawley roads.
Safety is our priority
The focus for the Narre Warren North Road Upgrade is to improve road safety. The crash rate for this short section of road is twice the average of the outer south east metropolitan region. This is due to the complex nature of the road environment:
- the posted speed limit along Narre Warren North Road is 80km/h
- the road narrows from two lanes to one lane and back again between Fox and Belgrave-Hallam roads – a distance of around 700 metres
- the road is steep with sharp bends to the north of Memorial Drive
- there are a lot of local road intersections and access points to private and commercial properties,
most of which are uncontrolled.
Congestion in the morning and afternoon peak travel periods also has a role to play in the high crash rate. The project design aims to remove some of this complexity and make Narre Warren North Road safer for all road users.
Following the upgrade of the Belgrave-Hallam Road and Fox Road intersections, the crash rate fell dramatically. The safety and efficiency of the nearby Heatherton Road and Ernst Wanke Road intersections also improved.
Acting on your feedback
We explored several options to address your feedback, which were each assessed against the original design by independent road safety experts. We also took into consideration impacts to surrounding land use and environment.
Alternative option 1: Moving the traffic lights from Memorial Drive to Crawley Road
Memorial Drive carries three times more vehicles than Crawley Road and it's safer to signalise the most dominant movement. This design also carries the risk of CFA access being blocked by vehicles queuing to turn right into Memorial Drive.
To accommodate traffic lights at Crawley Road, the project would need to expand the footprint of the intersection. This would require compulsory acquisition of private land.
The larger intersection footprint would create more water run-off. This would require additional works to increase the capacity of Troups Creek to cater for the extra water flow and reduce the risk of flooding nearby properties in the event of significant rainfall.
Catering for future growth
The Crawley Road residential estate has limited potential for additional development. However, further development is happening in areas accessed by Memorial Drive. Installing traffic lights at Memorial Drive caters for this future growth in vehicle volumes.
Alternative option 2: Maintaining right turns from Narre Warren North Road into Crawley Road
As Crawley Road is located at the bottom of a hill and on a bend, driver visibility and safety are significantly worse in this design than if the right turn access was removed.
To maintain traffic flow on Narre Warren North Road and to improve safety, this design would require a dedicated right turn lane into Crawley Road. This would allow right-turning vehicles to move out of the through-traffic, reducing the risk of rear-end crashes.
To accommodate the new right-turn lane the project would need to expand the footprint of the intersection. This would require compulsory acquisition of
As with the previous option, the larger intersection footprint would require extensive works to increase the capacity of Troups Creek to handle the additional water flow and prevent flooding in nearby properties in the event of significant rainfall.
Alternative option 3: Maintaining right turns from Brundrett Road
As part of the project, we’re installing a pedestrian crossing on Narre Warren North Road just north of the Brundrett Road intersection.
Maintaining right turns out of Brundrett Road would mean the pedestrian crossing is not feasible in this location. This would result in poorer safety and connectivity outcomes for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians.
Maintaining right turns from Brundrett Road would result in Crawley Road residents using Cantwell Road as a rat-turn to turn right into Narre Warren North Road.
Our draft design proposed that vehicles wanting to turn right into Crawley Road would need to continue on to Belgrave- Hallam Road to perform a U-turn, a distance of around 500 metres. You told us that this was inconvenient, particularly for those who make the journey multiple times a day.
In response, we’ve altered the Memorial Drive intersection design to accommodate U-turns, reducing that distance to 50 metres.
Vehicles can perform the U-turn from the right turn lane at the Memorial Drive intersection, including cars towing horse trailers.
An independent road safety assessment rated the original designs for Memorial Drive, Crawley Road and Brundrett Road as the safest against each of the alternative designs we explored. The original designs also did not require compulsory land acquisition and had the least impact on water flow into Troups Creek.
Importantly, the original design is the only option supported by the relevant road authorities: the Department of Transport, who is responsible for the operation of Narre Warren North Road, and the City of Casey.
In keeping with the Department of Transport road safety guidelines, once the new lanes have been added between Fox and Belgrave-Hallam roads, access to most properties and side streets will become left-in and left-out only.
The changes to the Memorial Drive design to accommodate U-turns will reduce the distance drivers will need to travel to access Crawley Road and go some way to addressing community feedback.
We understand that this outcome may be disappointing for some members of the community. However, the safety of all road users is our top priority.
We take seriously your concerns regarding the possible flow-on effects of the access changes to Crawley and Brundrett roads, particularly those relating to an increase in rat-running on local roads.
We’re continuing to work with the City of Casey to investigate ways to deter rat-running in the vicinity of Brundrett, Crawley and Cantwell roads.
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