Member for Euroa Steph Ryan has called a proposal to reduce speed limits on country roads to 80km/h as 'lazy'.

AN inquiry into Victorian regional and rural roads has recommended that roads deemed a high crash risk should have their speed limit dropped to 80km/h.

The State Government has supported the recommendation for regional roads where upgrading infrastructure or installing barriers is not an option, in the hope it will make commuting safer.

It will target highways dropping speed limits from 110km/h to 80km/h.

The government believes lowering speed limits in a last case scenario will support the Victorian Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030, which aims to half road deaths and reduce serious injuries by 2030, and to have zero road deaths by 2050.

Member for Euroa and Nationals deputy leader Steph Ryan slammed the decision labelling it as a ‘lazy’ fix to regional roads that needed urgent maintenance.

“Labor cut the road maintenance budget by 25 per cent last year and now, because of crumbling roads and potholes, they plan to drop speed limits on country roads to 80 kilometres an hour,” she said.

“This is a lazy and arrogant decision by the government which demands cars be roadworthy but does nothing to ensure roads are car worthy.

“Reducing speed limits on regional roads doesn’t fill potholes, doesn’t fill cracks and certainly doesn’t stop roads completely falling apart; it just means the government has to do less.

Ms Ryan said road asset management was cut by 25 per cent in this year’s State Budget, and a further $1.9 billion was allocated to the West Gate Tunnel project in December.

Shadow Roads Minister Louise Staley said the decision to allocate funding to more metropolitan roads projects and ignore the fact that regional roads needed to be attended to ‘rubs salt in the wounds’ of regional Victorians.

“Rural roads are used for so much more than just commuters,” she said.

“Particularly at this time of year, regional roads are shared between agricultural machinery, freight and everyday users.

“The government’s solution to reduce speed limits, rather than simply fix the roads, rubs salt into the wound of regional Victorians.”

The government say it has no current plans for ‘blanket 80km/h speed reductions’ and criticised the Opposition for seeking political point-scoring without giving all the facts.

“There are no plans for blanket 80km/h speed reductions on arterial country roads. Local roads change at the request of the local council, and any speed limit changes will continue to be assessed on a case by case basis,” a government spokesperson said.

“Once again, this is cheap political point-scoring by the Victorian Liberal and National parties on the important issue of reducing the number of lives lost on our roads.

“A bipartisan parliamentary inquiry into the road toll recommended the speed limit on all rural and regional roads undergo a review – including support from a Liberal member and the Transport Matters Party.

“The proof is in the process – even the minority report identified there may be circumstances where speed changes are required.”

1 COMMENT

  1. If they wish to reduce speed limits, instead of repairing the roads to make them safe, then they should also reduce registration fees and fuel taxes. Isn’t that what pays for road maintenance? That along with traffic fines, which should also be reduced.

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