The Andrews Labor Governments cuts to country road maintenance funding are starting to bite in regional Victoria with VicRoads having to drop speed limits to protect motorists on roads where no funding is available to repair surfaces.
Speaking in Parliament Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood said a number of local residents had approached him regarding the issue and said they had been advised by VicRoads it was due to a lack of funding being available to undertake maintenance works.
‘Many of our country arterial roads are having their speed limits reduced from 100 kilometres per hour to 80 kilometres per hour,’ Mr Blackwood said.
‘It appears the main reason VicRoads is implementing these changes is that the conditions on sections of the roads has deteriorated to the point that safety is a concern and they do not have the funds to undertake repairs.
‘Once again the Andrews Labor Government is showing complete disregard for the wellbeing of country people and no regard for the impact of its budget cuts and the subsequent reduction in speed limits.
Mr Blackwood said local businesses were also concerned about the additional time it was taking to move freight around the region and that if left unresolved these changes would result in longer travel times, reduced productivity and greater risk to road users.
‘Local residents and businesses are concerned about the impact on their lives and livelihoods with a further restriction on their ability to move about their community in a safe and timely manner.
‘The restriction on speed limits has had a serious impact on the productivity and the cost of moving freight.
‘With the upcoming budget the Minister for Roads and Road Safety must increase the maintenance budget for country roads in Gippsland and get these arterial roads back to a standard that allows the safe movement of vehicles at a speed that does not add cost and inconvenience to country road users,’ Mr Blackwood said.