RACV’s five key transport priorities for Victoria
Metro 2 rail tunnel
The Melbourne Metro rail project currently being built will increase capacity on Melbourne trains, allowing more than half a million extra passengers per week to use trains in the peak hours.
Peter says the Melbourne Metro 2 project, a proposed extension of the Melbourne rail network via a tunnel from Newport to Clifton Hill through the city centre, is needed to provide capacity on the Werribee Line. This project offers a chance to provide extra stations in the inner north and in urban-renewal precincts such as Fishermans Bend.
Although cycling eases road congestion and overcrowding on public transport, it is currently not a viable and safe option for most people travelling to and within inner Melbourne. RACV has identified 17 inner-city cycling routes which Peter says should be an investment priority to provide safe cycling superhighways.
In regional Victoria, Peter says targeted infrastructure programs must consider population growth, transport disadvantages and choices, demographics and future freight movement and investment in regional centres.
“To maintain the liveability of major regional centres, public transport and bicycle infrastructure projects will be needed,” he says.
Regional road safety
Peter says the need to improve the safety of regional roads, not only in Victoria but across the nation, can’t be ignored. “Around 65 per cent of all road deaths and 40 per cent of injuries requiring hospitalisation occur on regional and remote roads in Australia, yet only 30 per cent of Australia’s population live in these areas,” he says.
Peter says the safety standard of existing regional roads should be raised to three stars, while new regional roads should be four stars. He says this might require such simple measures as roadside safety barriers, improved skid resistance of road surfaces and rumble strips on highway shoulders and centre lines to reduce run-off-road crashes.
Outer metropolitan projects
RACV’s research found that $13 billion was needed to address a backlog of projects in the outer suburbs in the shorter term and more funding was needed in the medium to long term. Its 2018 Growing Pains Outer Melbourne plan lists more than 100 transport infrastructure projects needed to fill in missing road links and increase road capacity and safety, as well as listing essential rail infrastructure projects including creating new lines, increasing the capacity of existing lines and improving access and facilities at stations.
The projects in 14 local government areas listed include the $110 million duplication of the Belgrave rail line in Knox and the duplication of the Berwick-Cranbourne Road to the South Gippsland Highway, costing $109 million, in Casey.