THE Victorian Transport Association has backed the Victorian budget that contains numerous measures to help improve productivity for Victorian freight operators. Namely in the form of infrastructure works on the state’s transport networks that will ease road congestion throughout Melbourne and across the state.

Key measures include:

Road – A total of $1.6bn in road network and infrastructure initiatives, including $2.5m in the ‘Summer Streets’ program to provide traffic management during COVID safe outdoor events, $117m package of road and intersection upgrades across Melbourne and $411m to resurface, rebuild and maintain 1700 kilometres of roads.

Rail – A total of $2.2bn on the Suburban Rail Loop, $2bn on Geelong fast rail, $660m for the next stages of upgrades on the Shepparton and Warrnambool line. The government will also spend $276.5m on the Dandenong corridor to allow for faster high-capacity metro trains to run and $5.5m on track works around Caulfield station to enable the separation of the Frankston and Dandenong lines.

Trams  – A total of $1.48bn will be spent on building 100 new modern accessible trams to retire the ageing A and Z-class trams. What will be the largest tram order in decades will include an order for new EClass trams and possibly another variety, will also go towards a new maintenance facility in Melbourne’s north-west to support 1900 jobs.

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As announced on the weekend, Melbourne will finally get an airport rail connection with the Commonwealth and Victorian government each contributing $5bn towards a project that will dramatically ease pressure on road networks in the north and north west of the city.

A Building Works Package will also provide $359m for maintenance and repairs for transport infrastructure including resurfacing roads, maintaining rail and upgrading jetties and piers, with $20m to upgrade key freight routes and support agricultural supply chains.

VTA CEO Peter Anderson said, “After a horror year, significant action was required to spur economic growth, recover jobs and restore Victorians’ confidence in our state.

“The government is to be commended for initiating projects that will ease congestion on our transport networks, which will support freight and logistics operators in their ongoing quest to improve productivity and the service they provide their customers and Victorian consumers.”

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