$340 million to be spent but not one pothole filled

The State Government will spend $340 million improving the safety of rural and regional roads without fixing one pothole.speed

South West Coast MP Roma Britnell says the money instead will be spent putting up signs and lowering speed limits.

The Towards Zero strategy, released last month, flagged lowering speed limits on “narrow, lower quality, high-speed roads” across regional Victoria, in an effort to “build local knowledge of the dangers and help people understand the need to drive at safer speeds”.

“Country people don’t need to be educated on how to drive on country roads. We already know the dangers,” Mrs Britnell said.

“The dangers are potholes, cracked and distressed surfaces and uneven edges.

“Unfortunately this plan won’t do anything to fix that.”

Mrs Britnell said last week Premier Daniel Andrews was quoted saying the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel was what every Victorian wanted and needed.

“He is out of touch. Most Western Victorian’s don’t want or need new underground rail stations in Melbourne. They want and need improved roads,” she said.

“We have said this time and time again, but that call is falling on deaf ears.”

The strategy also proposes centre of the road safety barriers and tactile edge lines on some highways, but none appear planned for within the South West Coast electorate.

Mrs Britnell said the strategy is a missed opportunity with no real outcomes to improve the conditions and safety of regional and rural roads.

“The State Government can double the money to be spent on regional roads by taking up the Federal Government’s dollar-for-dollar match offer on $340 million,” she said.

“But instead they want to spend the same amount without making any improvement to roads.

“I sincerely hope this $340 million isn’t coming from the $700 million set aside from the Port of Melbourne lease deal for regional transport improvements.

“That $700 million, combined with the state matched Federal money, could be used to make significant improvements to rural and regional roads.”

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