A VicRoads and Victoria Police call to cut speed limits on country roads will hurt regional economies, a south-west leader says.
Corangamite Shire councillor Neil Trotter said lowering limits to 70 or 80km/h on many country roads did not address the deteriorating condition of the region’s state-funded network.
“The escalating road toll is another indication that the state, under successive governments has under-funded road maintenance, to the extent that it is now impacting on the road toll,” he said.
Cr Trotter’s comment come after Victoria Police assistant commissioner for road policing command Doug Fryer said travelling at 100km/h on unsealed roads was unsafe and speed limits of 70 or 80 km/h should be implemented.
VicRoads chief John Merritt has also said there should be a discussion around cutting limits on narrow country roads.
“Mr Fryers of Victoria Police and Mr Merritt of Vicroads are advocating a regressive strategy for the economy of our region. If we wish to travel on safe roads and have a vibrant economy then we require a network of roads and rail to provide a safe and efficient connectivity,” Cr Trotter said.
“We need to a network that matches the technical capacity of the vehicles using it. The knowledge and ability to build better roads exists and is readily available. The regions require a commitment from government and its agencies to do something about it.
“If we were to accept the Vicroads and police approach we would ultimately end up by having a man with a red flag walking in front of our vehicles.”
Cr Trotter said one solution was to funnel more fuel tax revenue into upgrading regional roads.
Four deaths have occurred on roads in Glenelg, Moyne, Corangamite, Southern Grampians and Warrnambool local government areas since January 1.