Roads an 'embarrassment' so BransTrans backs push to fix them

Trucking firm fed up with the condition of Victorian roads has welcomed a campaign to have deteriorating sections upgraded

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | February 20, 2013

A trucking firm fed up with the condition of Victorian roads has welcomed a push to have deteriorating sections of the network upgraded.

BransTrans Director Nola Bransgrove says she supports the RACV’s Pothole Patrol campaign, which urges the Victorian Government to commit to fixing roads before the Budget in May.

Bransgrove believes the condition of the roads in the state are the worst they have ever been and says trucking operators keep paying extra charges for little improvement to the network.

"Victoria used to have the best roads in the country but we no longer do," she says.

"I can’t believe the state they’re in, it’s an embarrassment. When I think of the money we pay in fuel tax which is supposed to go towards roads, road user charge and what we pay in registration, they should spend the money on the roads and look after them and they’re clearly not."

Bransgrove blames poor roads for increasing vehicle maintenance costs and causing fatigue among truck drivers.

"It’s a bit of a double whammy really," she says.

"The governments need to be serious about maintaining the public assets."

The RACV wants the public to identify deteriorated roads and draw attention to road maintenance issues.

RACV Roads and Traffic Manager Dave Jones says rough, cracked and potholed roads have important safety and economic implications, particularly for rural communities.

"Costs to the community include increased road crashes, increased wear and tear on vehicles, increased fuel consumption and damage to goods being transported," he says.

"Victoria’s roads have significantly deteriorated over the past 10 years, under both Labor and Liberal governments but it’s imperative to halt the rot now."
Jones says a recent inspection of the South Gippsland Highway found deep potholes and cracked surfaces.

"Newer fractures can clearly be seen within older road maintenance patching, showing that more major repairs are needed and more patching isn’t enough to address the deterioration," he says.

"This is an example of a road that has deteriorated to a state that in some sections makes it almost unusable."

Jones says the $45 million increase for road maintenance announced in October 2012 is appreciated but is not enough.

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