Shire or VicRoads - whose road is it anyway?

Residents are often complaining to the wrong organisation when it comes to roads.
Residents are often complaining to the wrong organisation when it comes to roads.

SOUTH-WEST councils are being blamed for the condition of roads they are not responsible for maintaining.

Residents regularly contact shire offices to complain about the state of roads, unaware that many of the roads in question are controlled by VicRoads.

Corangamite Shire, after receiving low rankings on road quality in their annual customer service satisfaction survey, added a question asking respondents to select the roads in the worst condition.

The majority of responses were critical of VicRoads thoroughfares – not council-controlled roads.

The municipalities of Warrnambool, Moyne, Southern Grampians and Glenelg are understood to be following Corangamite’s lead and will add the question to their own surveys.

The Standard ran an online quiz to gauge readers’ knowledge on whether particular roads were maintained by VicRoads or council.

The results included:

  • only 34 per cent of respondents correctly identified Spencer Road near Kirkstall as a VicRoads road;
  • only 33 per cent of respondents correctly identified Banyan Street (north of Raglan Parade) as a VicRoads road;
  • only 42 per cent of respondents correctly identified Foxhow Road as a VicRoads road;
  • only 47 per cent of respondents correctly identified Bridge Road in Bushfield as a VicRoads road.

Corangamite Shire director of works and services Brooke Love said the council was trying to raise awareness about road management to help them better direct their own resources.

“Our performance regarding sealed local roads was low (in the customer satisfaction surveys) … but our own local road conditions (data) showed 98 per cent of our sealed roads were in good condition,” Ms Love said.

She said this led to adding the question in the survey asking residents to select the shire’s worst roads. The results found 85 per cent of the worst roads were in fact state government roads.

Ms Love said Corangamite Shire still had work to do to ensure its own road network was up to scratch, and added she welcomed the recent funding announcement from state government roads minister Luke Donnellan.

Moyne Shire director of physical services Trev Greenberger said the shire got a lot of complaints about VicRoads roads, which were either passed on to VicRoads or the complainant was directed to the VicRoads website or phone number.