Govt likely to implement parts of Truck Action Plan: report

Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission believes Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu will implement parts of the previous administration’s Truck Action Plan

By Ruza Zivkusic | June 21, 2011

Improvements to truck routes from the Port of Melbourne and a new river crossing are part of the Victorian Government’s plans to improve congestion in Melbourne, a new report says.

The Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission’s inquiry into a state-based reform agenda outlines key reforms that the Victorian Government should target to improve productivity, labour force, participation and Victoria’s overall economic competitiveness.

The report believes the new government is expected to carry through some of the last government’s Truck Action Plan projects.

While the West Gate Bridge is heavily congested, the commission says a congestion charge will not solve the problem.

"It is likely that in the coming years the need for fiscal consolidation will constrain the growth of public infrastructure," it says.

"The previous government’s Victorian Transport Plan proposed to tackle the increased pressure on the Victorian transport system and in particular addressed the bottlenecks between the east and the west of Melbourne," the report says.

"The new government is developing its own plans but we expect some of the previous components will carry through in some form."

VCEC believes the social costs of travel congestion will reach $6.1 billion.
The busiest time for truck travel is 9am and 5pm on any day.

The report shows the state’s infrastructure performance is ranked poor, and although it does not clearly establish what the Victorian infrastructure problems are, some such as rail and road upgrades, port planning and broadband investment are already being addressed.

"Victoria’s infrastructure is mostly rated as only adequate meaning major changes are required to enable infrastructure to be fit for its current and anticipated future purposes."

"This rating reflects that the state’s infrastructure is stressed. In metropolitan areas, this is evident by traffic congestion and public transport inadequacies.

"In regional areas, it is evident in wastewater treatment problems and inadequate broadband availability."

Melbourne’s transport task is expected to double by 2020, with an average travel per capita above 14,000 km.

"The light commercial vehicle fractions as well as heavy trucks is expected to increase substantially, balancing the slowing car growth," the report says.

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