Bussell Highway bottleneck turning away tourists

Vasse MLA Libby Mettam, Busselton resident Judy Davy and accommodation provider Johanna Hansen.
Vasse MLA Libby Mettam, Busselton resident Judy Davy and accommodation provider Johanna Hansen.

A Busselton accommodation provider has warned inaction over dualling the Bussell Highway between Capel and Busselton is deterring tourists from visiting the region.

Grangeview owner Johanna Hansen said they had guests who had not been to Busselton for some time and they could not believe the road from Bunbury to Busselton was still a single lane.

Their guests said the stretch of road was a severe bottleneck at peak times and it would make them hesitant to travel to the area during long weekends and school holidays.

Ms Hansen said construction of a dual carriageway was long overdue.

"It would make it safer and less stressful for people who commute each day for work," she said.

"The stretch of road is dangerous and poses a serious risk to locals and tourists due to its narrow lanes and lack of overtaking opportunities especially during long weekends and school holidays when traffic volume increases dramatically.

"I had guests that have stayed for long weekends during school holidays that said their trip had been stressful and delayed by at least two hours, due to the build up of traffic."

In a letter responding to Vasse MLA Libby Mettam, transport minister Rita Saffioti stated stage one from Capel to Hutton Road was ready for construction.

However, the minister did not respond to questions from the Mail about whether funds were allocated to prioritise the works or when they would commence.

Ms Saffioti said in the letter, stage one required the installation of preload that must be kept in place for at least one year before construction could commence.

The letter stated the design of stage two from Hutton Road to Busselton was nearing completion with plans to submit documents for environmental approval were in progress.

Buselton resident Judy Davy said while the government were always promoting tourism in the region they were not forthcoming on how to get there.

"I think they have considered this for long enough," she said.

Vasse MLA Libby Mettam said when she talked to residents it was the number one need in the region

"I would hope a state government commitment is now made, and also if there are funds left over from the Bunbury Outer Ring project that they look at extending those works to dual the carriageway which would be a logical extension."

Almost 2000 people have signed an online petition started by Ms Mettam calling on the state government to commit funding to dual the carriageway. If you would like to sign the petition please go to petition.org.au/bussellhwy/.