8 April 2016
Victoria’s leading transport advocate RACV has welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment to deliver a number of vital road and rail projects in Victoria.
RACV General Manager Public Policy, Brian Negus said the $1.5 billion in funding which will include an upgrade of the Monash Freeway, completion of the Western Ring Road project and upgrades to a number of regional roads will improve safety and reduce congestion for all Victorians.
“More than 200,000 vehicles use the Monash Freeway every day and almost every working day the freeway is reduced almost to a stand-still because of the sheer volume of traffic.
“The Monash upgrade including the implementation of a full managed motorway from west of EastLink to Cardinia Road on the Pakenham By-pass, will greatly improve the daily commute for literally hundreds of thousands of motorists.”
Mr Negus also welcomed the announcement of the $220 million Murray Basin Freight Rail upgrade across more than 1,000 kilometres of rail line.
“This upgrade will get freight onto trains and more trucks off our local roads and significantly improve connections to the ports of Geelong and Portland.
Mr Negus said RACV still considers the Western Distributor project, which is not included in the announced federal funding, a vital alternative route to the Westgate Bridge.
“The Western Distributor is an integral part of the solution to Melbourne’s crippling traffic congestion and must be built to improve the city’s long-term liveability.
“RACV calls on both the state and federal governments to commit to fund the Western Distributor to significantly relieve Melbourne’s east-west and west-east traffic congestion.”
Mr Negus said the Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel remains one of RACV’s top projects and it needs to be built as a matter of urgency to improve train services across Melbourne.
“Both the Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel and the Western Distributor are vital city shaping links in what RACV believes must be an integrated approach to infrastructure planning for the city to cope with its expected expansive population growth in the years to come.”
Mr Negus said recent Australian Automobile Association polling had revealed almost 60 per cent of Australians see both the Federal and State and Territory governments as being responsible for transport infrastructure.
“This means Australians and especially motorists who pay around $28 billion in taxes and charges every year, expect our governments to work together to deliver the infrastructure that will make our communities more livable and economical stronger.” he said.
“We urge the State Government and the Federal Government to work together to deliver these vital projects to reduce congestion and improve safety and liveability for all Victorians.
Mr Negus said RACV was pleased to see that regional transport infrastructure was included in the $1.5 spend.
“RACV has long advocated for better roads in rural areas to improve safety because our members have told us that the condition and maintenance of regional roads is one their biggest concerns.
“We are delighted to see some if this money will go to highway duplications and road and bridge upgrades statewide.
“On behalf of our members we would also like to see more frequent rail services and improved public transport options in country areas to strengthen the transport links that connect regional centres to Melbourne and each other.”