The prospect of the $86 million Ellerton Drive Extension (EDE) providing any real relief from heavy vehicle traffic through the Queanbeyan CBD has now been thoroughly discredited – by the very people who had sung the road’s praises.
QPRC Mayor Tim Overall and Deputy Premier and Member for Monaro John Barilaro have confirmed the failings of the EDE as a CBD bypass in comments that vindicate the criticisms that community groups and residents have made for years.
Despite claiming in 2017 ‘there is no alternative to the EDE’, Mayor Overall has now admitted its shortcomings as a CBD bypass.
Now he says after the EDE is built, the council will be talking with Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) about what to do to keep heavy vehicles off Monaro St.
It’s not clear why he would wait 22 months, the period during which the EDE is to be built.
John Barilaro says RMS will consider making changes that our campaign identified long ago as measures that would make a real difference: imposing a load limit, reducing speed limits and transferring Monaro St to the council, making it a local road.
These admissions are extraordinary, not least because the measures could have been implemented a decade ago, when the Googong and Tralee Traffic Study was underway.
It is little wonder that trust is in short supply in our democracy.