Congestion

Congestion and delays on Victorian roads are significant issues for RACV members. Generally associated with motor vehicle use, congestion also impacts buses and trams which run on Melbourne’s road network.

Congestion increases travel time and vehicle operating costs, with effects that cascade through the entire economy. Infrastructure Australia estimates that the cost of congestion in Australia is set to rise from $13.7 Billion in 2011 to $53.3 Billion in 2031.

The State Government’s “Linking Melbourne” report estimates that approximately 640 kilometres of the arterial road network is congested at peak times. Additionally, congestion in Melbourne traffic contributes approximately 2.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

RACV research

RACV has conducted market research on motorists' perceptions about the road network. We found that congestion on Melbourne's roads is seen to be getting worse. In 2014, a total of 88% of survey respondents said they believe congestion is worse than it was five years ago, with most of those saying it is much worse. This is up from 83% in 2006.

Every two years RACV also runs the Redspot Survey to find out where Victoria’s most frustrating traffic spots are. All nominations help us campaign for improvements to the road network.

Improving Congestion

RACV advocates a number of congestion solutions that are short term, medium term and long term. These include initiatives to improve transport infrastructure and services with a combination of major new infrastructure, local projects to fix congestion hotspots and improved public transport infrastructure and services. Initiatives for better planning and management of the transport system and its components are also needed.

 

For more information see the sections below.

Redspot survey

A Redspot is a location on the road, tram or bus network with unnecessary or excessive congestion that potentially makes road users ‘see red’. Redspots may be an intersection, part of a road, railway crossing, along a bus or tram route or somewhere else. You might be driving a car or truck, riding a bike or motorbike, or catching public transport. Redspots cause delays and frustration to all road users.

The Redspot Survey was developed by RACV in 1991 to get feedback from the public about areas on the road network that need improvement. Since that time the survey has grown and is now run every two years by RACV in partnership with Leader Community Newspapers, and for the first time in 2016, 7 News as well. The RACV Redspot Survey provides RACV Members and the public with an opportunity to improve our road and public transport networks by nominating congested road locations and public transport services. Many millions of dollars have been spent to improve Redspot locations.

Once the nominations are collated and analysed, RACV transport engineers conduct site inspections at each of the top 10 locations. They then assess what improvements may be possible to reduce congestion. The results of the survey are then discussed with VicRoads, local Councils and the Department of Transport to take action on the frustrating locations nominated.

2016 Redspot Survey

The RACV Redspot Survey was run in partnership with Leader Community News and 7News.The results are now available at www.redspotsurvey.com.au

Clearways

RACV believes that clearways should cover more arterial roads, and their hours extended to better cover peak times. Clearways should be better enforced through cameras and towing of illegally parked vehicles should be examined.

RACV advocates a number of congestion solutions that are short term, medium term and long term. These include initiatives to improve transport infrastructure and services with a combination of major new infrastructure, local projects to fix congestion hotspots and improved public transport infrastructure and services. Initiatives for better planning and management of the transport system and its components are also needed.

The use of clearways is an important short-term initiative to help improve congestion and will benefit motorists, bicycle riders, freight and public transport users alike.

RACV believes that clearways should cover more arterial roads, and their hours extended to better cover peak times. Clearways should be better enforced through cameras and towing of illegally parked vehicles should be examined.

The use of clearways is an important short-term initiative to help improve congestion and will benefit motorists, bicycle riders, freight and public transport users alike.

Removing level crossings

Level crossings are a major source of frustration for Victorian road users, repeatedly featuring in the Top 10 of the RACV Redspot Survey of the worst congestion locations. Frustrated motorists and pedestrians can make bad decisions. This puts them, and train passengers and rail staff, at risk of injury and death. 

RACV has long called for successive state governments to implement an ongoing program to eliminate all level crossings in metropolitan Melbourne, commencing with five a year for the first ten years. The establishment of the Level Crossing Removal Authority and the Government commitment to eliminate 50 crossings before 2022, including all those criticised by RACV, is very welcome.

Drivers, riders and pedestrians making mistakes are a serious safety issue on Victoria’s rail and tram networks.  Turning in front of a tram is equally a high risk manoeuvre.

Rail safety is everyone’s responsibility – whether driving or riding across a railway line or along a tram corridor, or walking to and from the train station. Passengers should also look out for each other.