Choking congestion turns more commuters red

RACV has identified a significant escalation in the public’s concern about road congestion with the latest RACV Redspot survey showing an enormous problem in Melbourne’s north-east.

The 2016 RACV Redspot Survey has revealed that thousands of hours are lost by commuters stuck at hundreds of intersections across the metropolitan area. However, the most pressing problems are located in the corridor from Clifton Hill to Greensborough and Templestowe, which includes six of Victoria’s 10 worst traffic intersections.

RACV General Manager Public Policy, Brian Negus welcomed the funding commitments since the last Redspot Survey, but said more strategic infrastructure development was essential and he called for an integrated master plan to be developed for traffic management in the North East.

“There is an urgent need for immediate and long-term investment in roads and public transport to reduce congestion,” Mr Negus said.

“The Redspot Survey highlights that the priorities should be the Metropolitan Ring Road - North East Link, East West Link and the rapid transit bus service to the north east, including the Doncaster area. RACV has long proposed the North East Link as its number one road project and we need a commitment now to get on with the detailed planning and reserve the corridor for this critical project.

“The support for the missing link in the Metropolitan Ring Road is amplified by the fact that within the top ten Redspots, numbers 2, 5, 6 and 8 all represent a call for this link.

“The Smart Bus service to the north east also should be expanded to provide improved better access to the city.

“With the state government decision not to proceed with East West Link, they urgently need to look at other major ways to fix the congestion in this rapidly expanding corridor.”

The Redspot Survey is conducted every two years and asks commuters to nominate the most frustrating locations that make them see ‘red’. This year more than 18,000 Victorians provided information on congested locations that affect motorists, public transport users, cyclists and pedestrians across the state.

Mr Negus said the survey results have been analysed by RACV transport engineers and will be provided to VicRoads, Public Transport Victoria and local councils.

“Evaluation of the experiences and opinions of respondents helped secure more than $1.5 billion to improve Redspots since the last survey but there still is a long way to go,” he said.

The Redspot Survey revealed Victoria’s worst location for congestion is the junction of the Eastern Freeway, Alexandra Parade and Hoddle Street. The complex Heidelberg intersections of Rosanna Road, Jika Street, Dora Street, Banksia Street and Lower Heidelberg Road continued to frustrate commuters and is rated second worst, up from sixth in 2014.

The Chandler Highway Bridge in Alphington/Kew, previously ranked commuters’ worst nightmare, is third on the 2016 RACV list. “The state government has now committed $110 million to build a new six-lane bridge, which will vastly improve the flow of traffic and safety for cyclists and pedestrians,” Mr Negus said.

RACV partnered with Leader Community News and 7News to seek commuters’ experiences and comments. As well as responses from 17,000 car drivers, reaction was received from bus drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, truck drivers and tram users.

Written by Lynette Keogh, RACV Public Affairs, 9790 2572
September 06, 2016