North East Link
RACV has long supported the North East Link, connecting the Metropolitan Ring Road at Greensborough with the Eastern Freeway. Work on the project will now continue, with the next step being an Environmental Effects Statement (EES) that will be assessed by an independent panel.
In its election campaign Labor announced it would remove a further 25 level crossings, taking the total number to 75 to be completed by 2025. New crossing removals have been announced, including Glenhuntly and Neerim Roads in Glenhuntly, several crossings in Coburg, Station Road in Deer Park, and Old Geelong Road in Hoppers Crossing.
Planning for the Mordialloc Bypass is already underway, with submissions on its EES about to close. It will connect to the Dingley Bypass, then South Road and Warrigal Road. Labor promised $30 million to “fix” South Road from Warrigal Road to the Nepean Highway, to deal with the projected 10 per cent increase in traffic once the Mordialloc Bypass is open. RACV believes peak-period clearways are desperately needed as part of the fix.
Outer suburban roads
In its first term, the government announced new arrangements for the construction and maintenance of major roads in outer-suburban areas. Many of the projects announced in 2018 will happen in its second term, including work on Healesville-Koo Wee Rup Road, Fitzsimons Lane, Epping Road and Sunbury Road, to name just a few.
The government also announced increased funding for road maintenance in the 2018 state budget, with delivery starting this summer, and the establishment of Regional Roads Victoria to oversee it. RACV will work with Regional Roads Victoria, to ensure they deliver better roads across the State.
More car parks
The state government has announced $150 million for 11,000 new car-parking spaces across the state. That will be especially welcome in the outer suburbs, and at some middle-metropolitan stations that still have chaotic gravel car parks and residential streets lined with commuters’ cars. RACV’s On Track Survey of railway stations identified Aircraft and Ruthven Stations as two needing attention. However, there was surprisingly little attention given by Labor to better bus services, or bicycle paths and lanes leading to stations, which would give commuters alternatives to driving.
Incorrect roadworks signs
On the day of the election, Labor announced it would introduce penalties for traffic management contractors that leave roadworks sites incorrectly signed when workers aren’t present. This is a good initiative, but it must extend to all contractors working on roads, not just those working for VicRoads. Much frustrating disruption to traffic flow, including to bicycle riders and pedestrians, is caused by building contractors and water, sewerage and power companies, not just VicRoads and councils. Charging for the use of public space and penalties for incorrect signs are needed.