Today’s report by Victoria’s Auditor-General confirms RACV’s member research that Victoria’s regional roads are in a poor condition, posing a risk to public safety.
In addition to the public safety implications, road users are paying more for repairs to their vehicles – including high fuel consumption, suspension damage and tyre wear due to the deprived state of our regional roads.
The Auditor-General states that the current road management system is largely based on historical practices, and this antiquated model does not account for modern-day network needs.
“It’s not surprising that nearly 70 per cent of RACV members surveyed this year said they are dissatisfied with road surface conditions, and over half believe that rural roads are not adequately funded – particularly when this report confirms the gravity of the problem” said Dave Jones, RACV’s Manager of Roads and Traffic.
Moreover, the Auditor-General confirms there are no plans in place to ensure Victorians have a safe and well-maintained road network suited to carrying cars, heavier trucks and bikes. In the nine years since the last audit, the Auditor-General notes that there has been no progress made to the much-needed funding approaches required to manage the network.
“RACV notes that even after the 2017 Victorian Budget spending allocation, the proportion of distressed roads will not be reduced, and an estimated $1.2 billion is needed over four years just to fix the worst of them” Mr Jones said.
RACV is seeking a road restoration program of $1.2 billion over four years ($300 million per year) to strengthen and resurface Victoria’s most distressed roads within four years, in addition to the normal road maintenance budget.
A program of this scale should achieve efficiencies that will also enable safer infrastructure to be included.
“The Victorian Government must enact a clear plan to ensure the proportion of distressed roads is reduced as well as a sustainable funding model and clear accountability to ensure the right roads are prioritised at the right time” Mr Jones said.