Welcome to Growing Pains – RACV's plan to meet transport needs across Victoria

RACV has looked at the transport needs throughout outer metropolitan Melbourne and the 10 largest regional cities across Victoria. People in Victoria’s regional cities, smallest communities and Melbourne’s outer suburbs often have the poorest quality roads and public transport, and the fewest choices in how they travel.

To find out about the projects RACV has identified in your area, use the interactive map below.

You can show your support for each project by clicking 'like' to vote for it. For more information you can continue reading beneath the map.

Map of Projects

Transport Needs Across Victoria

Victoria's 10 Largest Regional Cities

Cycling in Warrnambool, Victoria

Current projections indicate that the population in Regional Victoria will grow from 1.4 million to 2.1 million by 2051.

While the overall population of our regional communities will remain modest compared to Greater Melbourne, our regions have seen major changes over the last 30 years and they are likely to keep changing. Simple farming practices and small townships have been transformed by technology, global trade, environmental management and climate change. These and other factors have led to the emergence of a few dominant regional towns and the beginnings of major urban cities including Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo. Between 2011 and 2031, these three largest regional districts by population are projected to account for approximately half of the population growth across all of Victoria’s regions. 

The ten local government areas we have focused on are home to the largest regional cities outside metropolitan Melbourne, with well-established economies and the potential to expand further. If their infrastructure and transport services keep pace and education and employment opportunities are provided for residents, then these cities will continue to attract people from Melbourne and retain existing residents. 

Without a strong transport network, as these regional cities continue to expand they will start experiencing congestion and frustration just like the growing pains experienced in Melbourne’s outer suburbs.  

RACV's Regional Growing Pains plan sets out our recommended 76 transport projects across regional Victoria’s 10 largest cities including road, public transport and bicycle projects. Use the interactive map above to see the projects, download the Regional Growing Pains brochure or read the summary of what RACV wants on behalf of our members.

Outer Metropolitan Melbourne

Commuters wait for Doncaster bus in Melbourne Australia

For Melbourne to be a world-class connected city, our transport networks must reach well beyond its centre. RACV recognises how important our outer suburbs are to the overall health and vitality of our city, but is concerned about the following facts:

  •  Victoria’s population is forecast to increase from just over 6 million to approximately 10 million by 2050. Most will settle in Greater Melbourne, many in outer suburbs.
  • By 2031, our population in the outer suburbs will have overtaken the total population of Melbourne’s inner and middle suburbs.
  • It is estimated that by 2050, Melbourne’s transport networks will need to cope with 23 million trips per day, nearly double the current figure of 12.5 million.
  • To help cope with this population growth and set up outer Melbourne for success, RACV's 2018 Growing Pains plan sets out our recommended 142 transport infrastructure projects.

Use the interactive map above to see the projects and to cast your vote. For more information, you can download the Growing Pains brochure here. There is also a summary of what RACV wants on behalf of our members further down this page.

RACV asked residents of Mernda, Officer and Point Cook about transport issues in their areas. Watch the videos below. 

What RACV Wants

Victoria’s 10 Largest Regional Cities

For 10 years Victoria’s population growth has been the strongest of any Australian state or territory and it is forecast to almost double by 2050. Victoria’s liveability and economic wellbeing rely heavily on the ability of the transport network to meet the demands of our growing population across the state. 

RACV calls on the Federal and State Governments to fund the 76 transport projects we have identified at a cost of $4.7 billion that are needed across Victoria’s 10 largest regional centres, and major commuter corridors between them.  This includes road, public transport and bicycle projects throughout Ballarat, Greater Bendigo, Greater Geelong, Horsham, Latrobe, Mildura, Greater Shepparton, Wangaratta, Warrnambool and Wodonga. The projects are detailed in the 2018 Regional Growing Pains brochure.

While it has been great to see increased funding in regional rail improvements and road safety in recent years, there is still a significant amount of work to do and funding needs to be sustained, not just drop away once current projects are completed. A holistic approach to planning and investments is required so we are not always trying to catch up but rather keeping up with the needs of Victorians.

We want to see a pipeline of regional transport projects developed, including those in our report, with adequate and ongoing funding, making Victoria a great place to live. This pipeline must be supported by the two major political parties, so we have a true vision for what transport in Victoria should look like. This means we can get on with the business of assessing the merit of individual projects. 

Outer Metropolitan Melbourne

Melbourne continues to grow and the outer suburbs deserve a fast, convenient and high-quality transport system linking areas of housing and employment and also providing access to goods and services, health care, education and recreation.

RACV calls on the State and Federal Governments to fund an ongoing program of outer-suburban transport projects. Our 2018 list of 142 transport infrastructure projects are listed in the Growing Pains brochure and shown on the map at the top of the page. These include road infrastructure projects within each of the 14 local council areas to address missing links, increase capacity and improve safety, plus railway infrastructure projects to create new lines, extend the reach and capacity of existing lines and improve access and facilities at railway stations. RACV estimates that over $13 billion dollars is required to address the backlog of projects in the shorter term. Much more will be needed to commence a range of medium to long term road and public transport projects.

RACV further calls for progressive reform in the design and supply of bus services across the outer suburbs, including measures to improve timetabling, route planning, co-ordination between modes and customer information. RACV will advocate for improved public transport services and better bicycle riding connections across Greater Melbourne. Look out for updates on the RACV website.

RACV Advocacy & Past Reports

Footpath Connect - 2016

RACV released a supplement to Connect Outer Melbourne focusing attention on connecting footpaths to bus stops, a critical link in the better use of public transport. Having good public transport is critical in outer Melbourne. But none of the economic, environmental and health benefits of using public transport can be realised if people can’t get safely and conveniently to the bus stops in the first place because there is no suitable footpath. RACV called for the State Government to work with Local Government to develop and fund a plan to link high-use bus stops in outer Melbourne to the footpath network with an immediate State Government injection of $2.3 million to fund the construction of these vital links. A copy of the report can be downloaded from the Footpath Connect page.

Growing Pains in Regional Victoria - 2014

RACV's report outlined the key transport planning principles and major projects needed to better connect regional cities and rural areas to each other and to Melbourne. The report also identifies the localised road, public transport, cycling and walking projects needed in Victoria’s ten largest regional cities of Ballarat, Greater Bendigo, Greater Geelong, Horsham, Latrobe, Mildura, Greater Shepparton, Wangaratta, Warrnambool and Wodonga. We identified $4.6 billion needs to be invested in regional Victoria over the next decade to address critical road and public transport deficiencies, which are limiting the travel opportunities for regional communities and putting the brakes on economic development. A copy of the 2014 report can be downloaded here.

Growing Pains in Outer Melbourne - 2012

RACV's blueprint of road and public transport improvements needed to address the critical backlog of projects in 16 municipalities across outer Melbourne and Geelong. The package of over 150 road and public transport projects identified will deliver a comprehensive and connected transport network and offer people living in outer Melbourne greater choice in how they travel. A full copy of the 2012 report can be downloaded here.

Connect Outer Melbourne - 2008

RACV released the predecessor to our Growing Pains reports - Connect Outer Melbourne. RACV presents Outer Melbourne Connect as a responsible blueprint comprising road improvements, rail line extensions and significant public transport service improvements. RACV identified 85 projects to better serve private motoring, public transport services and freight operation. These projects require a $3 billion investment by the State Government for road infrastructure, plus ongoing funding for bus service improvements. A copy of the 2008 report can be downloaded here.

The Missing Links - 2002

RACV produced a special report titled The Missing Links, which presented a plan for upgrading transport infrastructure in outer metropolitan Melbourne. The Missing Links identified seventy-four critical road and public transport projects and a much needed $2.2 billion investment in the arterial road network, with $1.4 billion for road upgrades and $800 million for new road projects.