Interim VTA CEO urges government to get real on Melbourne traffic

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TandL News: Interim VTA CEO urges government to get real on Melbourne traffic. October 2, 2014. Charles Pauka

Interim Victorian Transport Association (VTA) CEO Peter Anderson has urged political parties to ‘take the blinkers off” and look at the bigger picture rather than focusing on just one piece of the puzzle.

Mr Anderson said the current political quarrel related to the future of the recently signed East West Link contracts is narrow-minded and illustrates the lack of depth in future planning by both parties.

“Ask any Melbourne motorists and they’ll agree that when an incident occurs on one of the major arterials, freeways or tollways, Melbourne’s traffic grinds to a halt. And there’s no wonder, when this network of just three percent of major roadways carries around 50 percent of Victoria’s daily traffic*.

“For the past 18 months, the VTA has chaired the Reliability Taskforce, which comprises of road user representative groups, road operators and enforcement agencies. Collectively, we believe that while a second Yarra River crossing is vital to relieve the undue reliance on the already congested M1 corridor, there is a lot more to be done to ensure efficiency of the entire network.

“Melbourne has been a competitive logistics capital for 150 years. But if the government doesn’t commit to ongoing infrastructure spending to improve the efficiency of the entire network, the cost of doing business in Melbourne will be astronomically high.

“The VTA would applaud any projects that keep traffic moving and appreciates the benefits that East West Link will deliver, however, we see the project as simply one small piece of the puzzle required to ensure the states long-term economic viability.

“Victoria is the nation’s freight and logistic hub, contributing up to $23 billion to Gross State Product in 2011, and accounting for up to eight per cent of the state’s economy. It is crucial this industry has access to a modern road network.

“It is imperative that other road infrastructure projects such as further East West Link connections to the Port of Melbourne precinct and the completion of the M80 Ring Road, are not only committed to, but delivered.

“Over the next two decades congestion and associated costs will only worsen as Victoria’s freight task is expected to double, and the containerised trade through the Port of Melbourne will triple.

“Major infrastructure projects such as East West Link reduce congestion and improve living standards, as well as boosting the State’s interstate and international competitiveness, driving productivity and stimulating economic activity.

“All Victorians are impacted by the accessibility and efficiency of our transport network, whether they be motorists, commuters, exporters, importers, consumers, businesses or transporters,” said Mr Anderson.

Peter Anderson welcomed

VTA president Brendan Hopley welcomed Peter Anderson to fulfil the role of interim CEO.

“With over 30 years’ experience in the transport industry, the industry as a whole will benefit from Peter’s extensive operational knowledge and experience.

“Peter has maintained a long standing and active relationship with the VTA, holding the positions of executive council member, five years as chairman of the Container Group and six years as chairman of the Freight Group,” said Mr Hopley.

Mr Anderson said: “As a second generation transport family, I’ve always been around trucks and I have a true passion for the industry.

“This is a great opportunity for me to utilise the skills and knowledge I’ve acquired over the past 30 years to give something back to the industry.

“The work carried out by the VTA for its members and the wider industry is phenomenal and I look forward to driving this further,” said Mr Anderson

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