Ring road for tourist town
Margaret River's main street.

The State Government will today announce funding of $13 million for a new ring road in a bid to divert dangerous heavy trucks from Margaret River's main street.

Local MP Terry Redman said the long-awaited funds would allow the first 1.8km of the road to be built from Bussell Highway to just south of Rosa Brook Road.

"The road will greatly improve safety for pedestrians and local traffic, while enhancing the town's commercial and tourist precinct," he said.

Mr Redman said Main Roads WA would consult the community on the northern section of the proposed 7km road.

The consultation would have to be completed before the project was submitted for Federal and State environmental approval.

Main Roads has said about 400 trucks, including 120 heavy trucks, travel on the Bussell Highway each day, and there has been a need for an alternative route for almost 30 years.

Local tourism operators have long pushed for a ring road.

Steve Brake, vice-president of Margaret River Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the funding was a step forward.

"All sectors of the community have been pressing for this for a long time," he said.

Mr Brake said the heavy trucks meant the main street could not be fully developed as a tourism destination.

"At the moment the main street has to serve as a highway with wide loads using it and this means there can't be angle parking," he said.

Main Roads has said the ring road is planned as a four-lane dual carriageway but will first be built as a two-lane road.

There will be roundabouts at the northern and southern intersections with the highway.

The West Australian

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