Federal and State Governments commit $7 million to Indian Ocean Drive road safety improvements

Recent head-on crashes on Indian Ocean Drive have prompted more calls to improve road safety.
Recent head-on crashes on Indian Ocean Drive have prompted more calls to improve road safety.

INDIAN Ocean Drive will get more passing lanes, with the Federal and State governments announcing $7 million for safety upgrades today.

The governments have fast tracked funding for four extra passing lanes – two northbound and two southbound – between the Ledge Point and Seabird turn-offs.

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 8km farther south will be built in 2018-19.

“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,” Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren 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 WA Government, it is clear we need to make improvements to this road as soon as possible.”

WA Transport Minister 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,” she said.

“Main Roads has also secured State Black Spot funding to install audible edge lines for approximately 30km 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.”

Pearce MHR Christian Porter said road safety was an issue for everyone, particularly 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,” he said.

The section of Indian Ocean Drive between Two Rocks and Lancelin is more than 50km long and it carries the most traffic between 2500 and 4700 vehicles a 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 WA.

The State Government has also pledged to commit a further $11 million towards these regional projects.