On behalf of our more than two million members and all Victorians, the RACV calls on the State Government to make the safety of our roads a major priority and address them as a matter of urgency with a clear financial commitment in the upcoming budget.
In its budget submission to the State Government, the RACV detailed its independent review of Victoria’s regional highway network. The review showed that Victoria’s roads are seriously underfunded and the steep decline of the network’s condition is now impacting road safety and this is an issue that must be addressed.
VicRoads data showed that in 2015-16, 7.4 per cent of the 19,630 kilometre network in regional Victoria was "distressed". That is equivalent to 1,452 kilometres of the regional road network and the current budget only delivers half of the amount needed each year to properly maintain our roads.
Brian Negus, RACV General Manager, Public Policy said, “Once again, the RACV has repeatedly said that the failure over many years to invest in maintaining roads will seriously compromise safety for Victorians. The Government needs to understand that when Victorians can get from home to work and back safely, our entire economy benefits.”
“A lack of significant investment in the upcoming budget will mean that the State highway network becomes so degraded, that it will inevitably cost more to repair in the future,” said Mr Negus. “An investment in our roads today is an investment in Victoria’s future.”
The North-East link is also high on the priority list for RACV members. We want to see a clear timetable set out by government to complete this link. Building a freeway standard link between the Metropolitan Ring Road at Greensborough and the Eastern Freeway and Eastlink, will eliminate six out of the top 10 RACV Redspots (an area with unnecessary or excessive congestion) identified by RACV members. www.redspotsurvey.com.au.
“The RACV wants to see the Government go further by setting out the funding arrangements for the North-East Link,” said Mr Negus. “Our members have told us that congestion remains a major source of frustration and it is impacting people’s day-to-day lives. People want to spend less time in traffic and more time being where they want to go.”
RACV is also calling for:
- A clear funding commitment and timetable for the completion of the duplication of the Western Highway to Stawell, a critical link between Adelaide and Melbourne.
- A significant upgrade to Hoddle St/Punt Road, between the Eastern Freeway and the Yarra River. Urgent implementation of 24/7 clearways and bus lanes on both sides of Hoddle St to provide faster and more reliable bus services.
- Increased SmartBus services, including an upgrade to the Doncaster Area Rapid Transit (DART).
- Funding for Point Cook Road between Princes Freeway and Dunnings Road in Seabrook, to address a recurring RACV Redspot.
Notes to Editor:
- RACV represents over two million Victorians, and has a member in three out of every four households (on average) in Victoria.
- The RACV’s Redspot survey is a snapshot of congestion in Victoria. The survey received 18,000 responses. For more information on Redspot, visit www.redspotsurvey.com.au.