RACV demands urgent transport upgrades to unclog congested Melbourne

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RACV demands urgent transport upgrades to unclog congested Melbourne

THE RACV has told the State Government to fast-track five major transport projects to crush congestion, including the East West Link, Melbourne Metro Rail and a train to Melbourne Airport.

The advocacy group, which represents 2.1 million members, has warned road safety and the state’s economic productivity would take a hit if the projects were not prioritised over the next decade.

It listed the key metropolitan projects, which also included the Metropolitan Ring Road and Dandenong Rail Line Upgrade, in a new Directions report released today.

The Government has not committed to building the Metropolitan Ring Road or Melbourne Airport rail link.

It dumped the controversial East West Link, which cost taxpayers in total $640 million, last week.

Public policy general manager Brian Negus reiterated the RACV’s support for the controversial road.

“Without those projects congestion will significantly increase, which will impact the community’s livability and on our economic viability as a state,” Mr Negus said.

“As congestion increases there is a far higher risk of crashes and this would certainly impact on road safety.

“Improving roads and improving public transport is not just about improving mobility, it is also clearly about improving safety.”

The annual report consulted transport experts and surveyed RACV members, who live in three of every four Victorian households.

Mr Negus said commuters were demanding better transport options, with one in five members admitting they would spend less on cars if public transport was better.

“The community is clearly telling us that both road and public transport needs to be improved,” Mr Negus said.

“It is not one or the other — it is not a matter of one mode versus the other mode.

“People want choices.”

The RACV also called for “managed motorways”, which include ramp metering, electronic speed signs and driver information boards, to be implemented on all new and existing city freeways.

The system has cut the number of crashes on the Monash Freeway by more than 30 per cent and peak travel times by more than 40 per cent.

Managed motorways technology is being rolled out on the West Gate Freeway, but not the Western Ring Road, Eastern Freeway or East Link.

monique.hore@news.com.au