RACV’s Victorian state budget 2018 wishlist

RACV RoyalAuto magazine

April 26 2018  Fairer tolls, a transport control centre and charges for developers using public space are among priorities identified by RACV in the lead-up to next week’s state budget.

Along with more than 100 infrastructure projects identified in RACV’s recently released Growing Pains report and On Track Survey, RACV has put forward positions on a range of broader mobility issues, including:

Creating an integrated transport control centre

If Melbourne is to offer high-quality transport, it must look at integrating all transport modes to offer better coordination via new technology, making the system more efficient, responsive and safer.

RACV supports the creation of a coordinated transport control centre integrating the control rooms of bus, train, tram, public road and toll road operators. This would allow traffic incidents and transport for events to be managed better, emergencies responded to quicker, and would vastly improve information to commuters.

Removing light commercial toll charges for private cab-chassis vehicles

The imposition of commercial toll charges must be reversed for privately operated cab-chassis vehicles that are currently subject to light commercial vehicle tolls.

There are up to 675,000 vehicles in Victoria that pay a higher toll, many of these cab-chassis vehicles. The toll regime was designed when these were less common and almost exclusively used commercially. However, cab-chassis vehicles like dual-cab utes are increasingly used as private transport.

The state government could consider the Queensland model of private and commercial vehicle registration, realigning the structure of the tolling system to the type of registration, or the New South Wales model that bases tolls on vehicle’s size and weight.

Implementing occupation charges for developers using public road space

RACV supports the implementation of a system to charge developers for occupying public space for private use. For example, building companies occupying footpaths, bicycle lanes and vehicular lanes should be charged a fee for the space and duration of the occupation, with the structure of the fee tiered to discourage use of public space.

The imposition of a fee recognises the value of public space and the disruption that can arise from the private use of public space.

The fee should be used to fund officers across Victoria to inspect building sites for the purpose of administering the fee, and to verify that roadworks traffic management meets the relevant Code of Practice and approved traffic management plans.

Reducing the threshold amount on vehicle damage claims due to poor roads

Currently, a threshold is deducted from any payment made by VicRoads for damage to vehicles resulting from the condition of roads, much like an insurance excess. With Victoria’s road surfaces in terrible condition, RACV believes the likelihood of damage to vehicles when using roads in some parts of Victoria is quite high.

The threshold amount is currently $1400, indexed each financial year in accordance with the Consumer Price Index. According to the Herald Sun, in 2015, VicRoads rejected more than $2.75 million in claims, many because they were less than the threshold amount at that time. Only 27 claims were successful.

In 2017, Victoria’s roads are in worse condition and the threshold is higher. RACV believes the threshold must be amended to be similar to insurance excess levels, around $700-$800.

RACV also supports

  • Implementing FuelCheck to help motorists compare prices;
  • Providing greater incentives to buy electric vehicles and build recharging infrastructure;
  • Establishing a state and local government program to resolve infrastructure issues in preparation for autonomous vehicles;
  • Funding PTV for the introduction of public transport payments using credit cards or apps.

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