Australia

IPA calls for national leadership to manage road congestion issues

THE release of Transurban's road user study at Infrastructure Partnerships Australia's annual Partnerships symposium confirms the need for a detailed national process to fix transport, according to the peak body for the nation's infrastructure sector.

"Australia's transport networks are struggling because of too much demand and too little investment in road and rail systems," said IPA Chief Executive Brendan Lyon.

"National structural reform to transport pricing may not fire the imagination like a major new project, but its benefits will be much more enduring.

EastLink, Melbourne
Above: EastLink, Melbourne / by Indigo Skies Photography.

"In the short term, more government funding or user tolls are the only real options to close transport gaps but in the medium term, we can do better than just papering over the cracks.

"Transurban's study shows that Australian motorists are up to considering new options to make the costs of road use fairer and performance much better.

"Without major change, transport problems like congestion, crowded trains and under-maintained or unsafe regional roads will get worse, not better because population is growing.

"At the moment governments charge motorists a lot of money, but we collect it in a way that is unfair to users and sees too little maintenance and too little investment in new road and rail projects.

"The current approach to road transport funding is unfair because low-impact users in the country and regions cross-subsidise high-end road users in the major capitals.

"Australia can fix congestion and we can find the money we need to make the transport system properly connected, properly regulated and safe and effective for users.

"The Federal Government needs to fire the starter's gun on a long race to fix transport, something that should see wide political support."

More information about Transurban's road usage study is available from Transurban's 'Connected Cities' website at <http://connectedcities.transurban.com/>.

Photo: EastLink, Melbourne / 'Freeway' / Indigo Skies Photography / Licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0.

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