Federal Nationals MP Dr David Gillespie has announced a $5 million funding boost to a vital road safety project on the mid-north coast.

The upgrade of The Bucketts Way being undertaken by Mid Coast Council will realign and widen sections of the road, improving safety and access for heavy vehicles.

Dr Gillespie said the funding for the upgrade had been made available under round six of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program, put in place by the Nationals in Government.

“While the Bucketts Way is a local and regional road jointly funded by local and state government, I’ve been lobbying very hard with my Federal colleague Barnaby Joyce to secure additional funds to continue to expedite the overall upgrade because it is an important freight and tourist route for our region,” Dr Gillespie said. “This upgrade will involve the realignment and widening of 12.65km of The Bucketts Way around Clareval through the construction of nine individual projects, and the construction of passing lanes at three locations, increasing improve safety and access for heavy vehicles.”

Dr Gillespie said the $5 million was in addition to Federal ‘Roads to Recovery’ funding, as well as a special Federal funding package of more than $16 million secured for The Bucketts Way during his first term in Parliament.

“Getting produce from paddock to plate is a vital part of Australia’s growing agriculture and transport industries, which is why the Nationals in Government are investing in this important program making freight routes like The Bucketts Way safer,” Dr Gillespie said. “We all understand how important it is to upgrade these roads – we all drive them often and see firsthand the jobs and opportunities agriculture and transport brings to our region. This is fantastic news for local motorists, tourists and of course the local transport operators who travelling through our region using The Bucketts Way.”

The Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program provides funding to local councils and State and Territory Governments to help fund works designed to improve the safety and efficiency of important heavy vehicle routes. Local Councils make up more than 60 per cent of the 93 projects selected under this latest round of funding.