The NSW Shadow Roads Minister visited the Lower Hunter on Thursday to pressure the NSW Government to improve key access points to the Hunter Expressway.
Jodi McKay MP joined Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison in a push to expedite Tester’s Hollow upgrades and demand a fix to congestion problems at the Maitland Railway Station roundabout.
Ms Aitchison said the roundabout and Testers Hollow were “major gateways” to the expressway.
She said the government had known since the day the New England Highway flyover opened that it wouldn’t solve ongoing traffic problems in the area.
“Maitland’s population continues to increase but our road infrastructure hasn’t kept up with the demands being placed on it,” she said.
“They’ve been talking about this for a long time but haven’t done anything.”
She said traffic lights at the roundabout and wider lanes at Church Street would be welcome solutions.
Further down Cessnock Road, Ms Aitchison said upgrading Testers Hollow was vital so thousands of motorists could reach the expressway during times of flood.
“We’ve got this $1.7 billion Hunter Expressway, which is a major gateway into Maitland, not able to be accessed [in times of flooding],” she said.
An upgrade of Testers Hollow has been funded and approved. Roads and Maritime Services are currently in the process of modelling a design for the project.
But Ms Aitchison said she had seen little progress since the Federal Government committed $15 million to the project in 2016 and wanted to see a greater commitment from the state.
“The state government has contributed a measly $2 million and nothing has actually been built with this money,” she said.
“I’m very keen to see some actual evidence they are pushing along with this.”
Ms McKay said the projects were “vital pieces of community infrastructure that would be of great benefit for drivers on a daily basis”.
“It’s time for the Minister to finally deliver these much needed projects for the community,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ms McKay also visited Weston with Cessnock MP Clayton Barr to urge the government to fund safety measures at the intersection of Gingers Lane and Sawyers Gully Road.
Mr Barr said he had been inundated by local residents who fear someone will be killed if changes aren’t made to the intersection.