It's time to build the next stage of Ballarat Link Road | ourballarat Spring 2021

The push is on to secure funding for the next stage of Ballarat Link Road, including the duplication of Dyson Drive. The Link Road is an essential plank in Ballarat’s future economic growth. When complete, it will provide a connection between the Western Freeway, Ballarat West Employment Zone, the Ballarat West Growth Area, through to the Glenelg Highway and Victoria’s south west, and the Midland Highway.

Traffic congestion on Dyson Drive

It’s hard to believe that only a decade ago, Dyson Drive was a quiet local road which marked the border between Alfredton and farmland to the west.

The entire suburb of Lucas was yet to be built, as was Stage 1 of the Ballarat Link Road connecting Alfredton with the Ballarat West Employment Zone and the Western Freeway. 

Today, the picture could not be more different. Almost 10,000 residents have since made their homes in the Ballarat West Growth Area, including Lucas and new estates in Alfredton.

And another 16,000 people are expected to move into the area over the next five years.

That means much more traffic on Dyson Drive, the main north-south road for local residents, and a key section of the next stage of the Ballarat Link Road.

Lucas resident Melinda De Jong says the number of cars and trucks on the road has increased noticeably since she moved there almost eight years ago.

“The volume is just crazy,” Melinda says.

“Dyson Drive was out in the bush years ago, just a sort of backwater road that wasn’t built or designed for the amount of traffic now. It’s just a lot more traffic on what was a single lane country road.”

Melinda’s weekday routine includes dropping three secondary school-aged children at Ballarat High School. 

Leaving just a few minutes later than normal can mean an extra 20 minutes in traffic. 

She says the duplication of Dyson Drive is urgently needed to improve traffic flow, catch up with the area’s rapid expansion and allow for the next phase of growth.

“You just look at the volume of houses going in, it’s just going to get worse without any major road duplications.”

City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Daniel Moloney says residents’ experience of more cars on Dyson Drive is backed up by City of Ballarat traffic counts.

“Back in 2016, there were 6,529 vehicle movements on average along Dyson Drive each day. Today the data shows the figure has jumped to 10,490 vehicles a day.”

Funding call

In the lead up to upcoming state and federal elections, the City of Ballarat is calling on the Victorian and Australian governments to fund the $90 million needed to complete the next stage of the Ballarat Link Road, including the duplication of Dyson Drive between Remembrance Drive and Ballarat-Carngham Road.

“You only need to travel on Dyson Drive in the morning to see it’s a road that needs an upgrade,” Cr Moloney says. 

“Ballarat Link Road is vital for our city’s future economic growth, providing a direct connection between the Ballarat West Employment Zone and our major highways.

“It will also form an essential north-south route through our city’s biggest urban growth area.

“We’re calling for assistance from our state and federal counterparts to build a crucial piece of infrastructure to support Ballarat’s growth.” 

Housing growth

When David and Jan Reid moved into their Lucas home six years ago, they were surrounded by vacant lots and paddocks.

“I said to Jan it’ll be five years before we get any houses around us,” David says.

“Now if you look at Lucas it’s almost full to the Skipton Rail Trail.”

The couple, who moved from Ararat, say Lucas’s range of services “at our fingertips”, easy proximity to health services and friendly neighbourhood make it special.

But the suburb’s popularity with new homeowners also means more cars. 

“The traffic on the roads has increased dramatically,” David says.

“If you go out at 9am or 3pm you can end up being quite a long time in getting through the main intersection at Dyson Drive and the Avenue of Honour.”

Traffic congestion on Dyson Drive

The average daily number of vehicles has increased substantially*:

 Year  Number of cars  Increase in traffic
 2005  1,783  
 2016  6,529  266%
 2021 (July)  10,490  60%

*Source: City of Ballarat traffic counts

What will Ballarat Link Road Stage 2 deliver?

  • Drive Ballarat’s economic growth by completing a direct link between the Ballarat West Employment Zone and the region’s major highways.
  • Create an essential north-south link in our city’s biggest urban growth area.
  • Support projected housing growth in Ballarat’s west.

See the map below for the Ballarat link road plans.

Map illustration of Link Road future plans