SOUTH-WEST MPs are incensed by a police call for the speed limit on unsealed country roads to be reduced to 70km/h, labelling it a “cop-out”.
Upper House MP James Purcell said better maintenance of country roads was needed, not reducing the speed limit which was a “total cop-out”.
Mr Purcell has called for responsibility for country roads to be taken away from VicRoads.
“VicRoads do not understand what is going on in the country,” he said.
Mr Purcell said country roads should be looked after by local government or roads management should split into country and city roads.
He said travel times between country areas and Melbourne were already long enough and reducing the speed limit would increase them further.
Mr Purcell was responding to a call by assistant commissioner Doug Fryer for slower speed limits after statistics showed that almost 60 per cent of deaths on Victoria’s roads so far this year had been in country areas.
Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell said the proposal was “an infuriatingly wrong solution to a very serious problem from a city centric government”.
Mrs Britnell said lowering speed limits would create further inefficiencies for the agriculture sector, adding to the time it takes for goods to get to market, driving up the cost of doing business.
“Some of these potholes, it wouldn’t matter if you hit them at 70 km/h or 100km/h - you’d still be at risk,” she said.