19 August 2021 - Roads Australia (RA) - the peak body for roads within an integrated transport system – says the 30-year Infrastructure Strategy released by Infrastructure Victoria today adopts a thorough approach to addressing the state’s transport challenges.
“RA made a submission to Infrastructure Victoria during the development of the Strategy which identified the uptake of zero emissions and automated vehicles, developing a sustainable system for road funding, enhancing the efficiency of freight movement and road safety as key challenges for Victoria,” said RA President Michael Bushby.
“It is encouraging to see each of these areas has been addressed in the Strategy released today through recommendations that clearly demonstrate industry’s views have been taken on board.”
“RA especially welcomes the focus on driving ZEV uptake in this Strategy. The recommendation to transition all new government fleets to ZEVs over the next five years will help provide wider confidence to consumers about the benefits and performance of ZEVs. Similarly, the recommendation that operational restrictions for zero emissions freight vehicles be removed would be a powerful way in incentivise uptake of ZEVs in the freight sector. This will not merely improve the efficiency of freight movement, but also contribute to reducing emissions in the transport sector.”
“RA has previously noted Victoria’s sensible approach to addressing the challenge of road pricing, providing a range of incentives to encourage uptake of ZEVs while also recognising those driving such vehicles should make an appropriate contribution towards the construction and maintenance of the roads they use.”
“This Strategy builds on that undertaking by recommending that fixed road user charges be phased out over the next decade and replaced by a user-pays model which reflects the relative costs of road use. This is not only important for ensuring a sustainable funding base to build and maintain a safe and efficient road network, but also to encourage motorists to consider modifying their travel patterns to improve congestion and sustainability outcomes.”
“Many of the issues canvassed in the Strategy align with the policy focus outlined in the RA Strategic Plan 2021-2023, most notably embedding resilience in transport infrastructure and harnessing the power of data and technology to better-integrate public transport modes with new mobility services, including electric bikes and scooters.”
“RA looks forward to working with the Infrastructure Victoria, the Victorian Government, industry stakeholders and the wider community to progress the forward-looking recommendations in this Strategy that can help deliver a better integrated transport system for Victoria.”