RESIDENTS have moved into newbuild homes in a secluded estate – they have to do a 30-minute U-turn just to leave.
Homeowners in the Melbourne community dubbed “The Island” say they have to drive west and do a half-hour U-turn before they reach a freeway to get out of their estate.
Many who bought their homes in Thornhill Park, nicknamed by locals as “Thornhell Park”, believed an overpass and flyover would be built by 2018 that’d allow them quick access out of the estate.
Five years on and nothing has been started.
The situation has gotten so bad for locals that they’re threatening a mass exodus if construction isn’t started soon.
Resident Matt Pearse told the Daily Mail Australia that morning traffic heading west to reach citybound lanes “can add 20 to 30 minutes unfortunately very easy” to his commute.
He said on a good morning, he’s lucky to get away with a 15 minute journey and up to an hour on bad ones.
The cut-off community has its own postcode, 3335, despite there being no schools, a town centre, train station or timetabled bus service, according to Matt, who bought there in 2016.
And the more than 7,000 residents who live in Thornhill are forced to travel outside the estate for basic services because it doesn’t have a shopping centre, supermarkets, childcare centres, doctors or chemist and promised sporting fields and wetlands have not yet materialised but have commenced construction.
One resident posted a photo of a building site fence blocking a pathway that was set aside to be a walking track beside unfinished wetlands.
“Just trying to take my dog for a walk,” the post was titled.
And though a train station was featured in glossy marketing material in 2016, the local government officials now claims they never promised to build one, according to a report by Aussie news programme A Current Affair.
Several locals are threatening to sell up and leave the area, which was envisaged to cater for 20,000 new residents.
“I’ve been here for nearly five years and nothing’s been done [about the overpass],” one unnamed mum said.
“Things need to change and they need to change real quick cos there’s gonna be a mass exodus if its doesn’t people are just gonna sell up and go,” she said.
A Victorian Government spokesperson said they were investing in major projects to keep locals moving while also planning for the future.
They said: “The brand new Cobblebank train station is a short distance from Thornhill Park Estate, and thanks to the Ballarat Line Upgrade there’s hundreds more trains each week, arriving every 20 minutes during the peak.
“We will continue to work closely with the Department of Transport, local councils and the community to ensure the transport network meets the needs of the growing community.”