Traffic Management and Safety

MORE FOCUS NEEDED ON SAFETY OUTCOMES OF INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT

gtr-news-pedestrians-lgeDebate on infrastructure investment focused on productivity benefits at the expense of safety outcomes, according to Assistant Minister for Infrastructure, Jamie Briggs.

Speaking in Federal Parliament in December 2014 on the release of a key Road Trauma Report, Mr Briggs said the safety benefits generated from better roads should not be underestimated.

“For instance, duplication of the Hume Highway has reduced annual fatalities by 85 per cent, and cut annual crashes from 2,499 in 1976 to 1,062 in 2013,” he told the House of Representatives.

“Similarly, fatalities have been halved on the Pacific Highway since upgrades began in the mid-1990s.

“The New South Wales Government has estimated that upgrading the Pacific Highway to dual carriageway will prevent 1,000 deaths and 7,400 injuries.”

Mr Briggs said Canberra’s record $50 billion investment in infrastructure would deliver new corridors in all major cities, making a massive difference to road safety.

“The Perth Freight Link in WA is expected to remove tens of thousands of vehicles a day from the surrounding road network. Similarly, the WestConnex project in New South Wales is expected to remove 3,000 trucks a day from Parramatta Road.

“Each of these investments will save lives and reduce road trauma, not only on these major highways, but also on the nearby local road network.

“Road safety benefits will similarly flow from our investments in the North South Corridor in Adelaide, the Gateway Motorway North in Brisbane, and the Midland Highway in Tasmania.”

Mr Briggs said the government had allocated $229 million to establish the National Highway Upgrade Program which was designed to improve Australia’s key national highway networks by funding the types of minor works recommended by the report on road trauma.

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