RACV welcomes the commitments in the State Budget to upgrade regional rail services and improve roads across Victoria.
Improvements to regional rail services and station upgrades worth $1.4 billion will address the significant over-crowding on regional rail lines and improve public transport services for passengers.
The Victorian roads package of $2 billion will provide significant improvements to road travel and safety across Victoria.
Increased funding for critical road maintenance is welcomed but more is required to address some of the most unsafe roads in Victoria. Brian Negus RACV General Manager Public Policy said, “The regional roads package of $550 million is a good start but clearly more is needed to deliver safer travel for Victorians.”
RACV’s analysis of VicRoads data for 2015-16, showed that 7.4 per cent of the 19,630 kilometre network in regional Victoria was “distressed”. The regional roads package includes only $260 million for road maintenance which is in stark contrast to the $1.2 billion estimated by RACV needed to repair the state’s worst roads.
Regional public transport
The commitment to improve train services to several regional centres including Geelong, Warrnambool, Ballarat, Bendigo, Gippsland, Ararat and Maryborough will provide a significant boost to address the overcrowding on these regional rail services.
RACV’s Regional Growing Pains report and On-Track surveys showed that regional Victorians want a choice in the way they travel. RACV is looking forward to the Federal Government supporting this program to deliver on these critical transport services.
RACV has called for several key metropolitan road projects funded in this Budget. These include the M80 Ring Road upgrade ($700 million), the Mordialloc Bypass ($300 million), Yan Yean Road upgrade ($96.6 million), and planning and pre-construction for the missing North East Link ($100 million).
The $100 million funding to undertake planning of the North East Link in the Metropolitan Ring Road has long been RACV’s top road project as it is vital to reducing significant congestion across Melbourne's north east and improving productivity for the freight industry.
Metropolitan public transport
The budget will deliver $62 million of improved public transport services across Melbourne. This includes safety at railway stations and bus stops, as well as changes to bus services in seven suburbs. RACV acknowledges that many more suburbs are in desperate need of better bus services.
The budget also includes $67 million for improved security at train stations and bus stops, which are critical issues identified in RACV’s community surveys.
Melbourne Airport rail link
RACV’s integrated transport proposals have long included a direct rail link to Melbourne Airport. “RACV is pleased to see the Government’s commitment to investigate options for this link and we look forward to a future commitment by both the State and Federal Governments to ensure construction is commenced within the decade,” said Brian Negus, RACV General Manager Public Policy.
RACV is pleased to see action taken to reduce crime in Victoria, boosting police resources with an allocation of $2 billion. Crime is a key concern for RACV members, especially with the increases in home burglary and vehicle theft.
Notes to Editor:
- RACV represents over two million Victorians, and has a member in three out of every four households (on average) in Victoria.
- RACV’s Regional Growing Pains report sets out its regional transport priorities based on community surveys and stakeholder engagement.
- RACV’s On-Track survey focuses on public transport issues experienced by rail passengers across Victoria. The survey received 18,000 responses.
- RACV’s 2017-18 Budget Submission