The Federal Government has given funding approval for the Score Bypass, a  $120 million project to improve local traffic flow, support regional producers and improve road safety.

$65 million in Australian Government funding has been ticked off to start building the four-kilometre Scone Bypass, creating a safer and more efficient road network for the local region.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the funding approval meant work on the bypass could get started later in 2017.

“Putting this money on the table to build the bypass is another step towards a more prosperous regional Australia. We are committed to seeing the region thrive, and putting in a bypass means safer local streets, better freight movement and less congestion on local roads,” Mr Chester said.

“We’ve worked hard to make this project a reality—together, the Australian and New South Wales governments committed an extra $30 million at the 2016 election to make sure there were no holdups with the project. We want to ensure the region’s farmers and producers remain well-connected to global and domestic markets, keeping them viable and competitive.

“It’s all part of our record $50 billion investment in infrastructure around the nation, which is delivering projects that are saving lives, creating jobs, and building the infrastructure we need to support a growing nation.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said the bypass would also pay dividends for Scone residents, including the creation of hundreds of direct and indirect jobs.

“Having to negotiate with heavy freight traffic as you are trying to cross a road to get a loaf of bread is never great, and what this bypass will do is shift some of that traffic outside of Scone’s CBD,” Mr Joyce said.

“It will also help freight operators and residents, who will no longer experience significant delays from two rail crossings intersecting the New England Highway. Currently, large freight trains hinder traffic for up to two hours each day and this will only increase as more freight moves by rail.

“The bypass will fix that problem and allow the region to reach the potential by providing the infrastructure it needs to grow.”

New South Wales Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said the New South Wales Government had committed $55 million toward this project.

“We are committed to seeing it delivered, with vital preparatory works continuing. I am also pleased to see the Australian Government investing in the region with construction due to begin in late 2017,” Mrs Pavey said.

“This region supports a range of industries including livestock farming, mining and the production of grains such as maize and oats. Between supporting local producers with a better freight connection, to improving local amenity with less freight traffic, the bypass is a real boon for the community.”

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