Road funding not speed limit reductions

Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath has backed a call from the RACV for the Andrews Labor Government to restore funding to rural and regional roads.

Ms Bath has also added her voice to the many concerned about the speed limit on many rural roads being dropped to 80km/h, which she says is a consequence of the funding cuts to road maintenance.

“Budget cuts by the Andrews Labor Government two years ago are obviously now having a negative and visible impact on rural roads,” Ms Bath said.

“The Country Roads and Bridges Program was axed by this government, and VicRoads had its maintenance budget cut by 10% in 2015/16, too.”

“Every day I see roads in need of urgent repair.”

“The solution to this seems to be dropping the speed limit on many rural arterial roads to 80km/h, although this is happening on roads in good condition as well,” she added.

Ms Bath said that the RACV’s budget submission to the government for 2017/18 further highlighted the need to reinstate funding to the levels provided under the previous Coalition Government for the management of roads in rural and regional Victoria.

The RACV submission states:

“RACV commissioned an independent review of the funding and condition of Victoria’s regional highway network that has found that the network is seriously underfunded and its condition is declining.”

The RACV has called for “substantial increases in funding to repair and maintain Victoria’s highway network, which has deteriorated alarmingly in recent years and is now causing increased safety risks” among its critical initiatives in the 2017/18 budget.

Ms Bath said many people across Gippsland had expressed their concerns to her around reductions in speed limits.

“We all want to do things that are reasonable to promote road safety, but the limit on more and more rural roads seems to becoming 80km/h overnight. What these roads need is to have their funding restored to allow for overdue maintenance work.”