The State Liberals and Nationals will suspend the blanket rollout of wire rope barriers and allow funds to be directed toward road safety measures on country roads, if successful at the November poll.
“I have been calling on the Minister for Roads since October last year to delay implementation of the wire rope barriers project so that its flawed implementation can be fixed and I am delighted Shadow Cabinet has now adopted this position,” said Mr Bull.
“But all I have had in response from the Minister is his contemptuous and mocking remarks that country motorists and emergency services personnel with concerns about the placement of wire rope barriers are ‘dingbats’ and ‘banjo playing conspiracy theorists’.
The Liberal Nationals support properly placed and installed wire rope barriers. If done properly they can prevent some serious accidents and they can save lives. However, we are concerned that the latest round of barriers are being installed without proper planning and consultation and are making some roads more dangerous instead of safer.
Some of the specific concerns about the latest installations include:
• Impeding access and manoeuvrability for emergency services, with both paramedics and the CFA flagging concerns;
• Compromising motorcycle safety if a rider connects with the barrier;
• Wire Rope Barriers installed too close to the side of the road that inhibit drivers pulling over safely due to a flat tire or a breakdown; and
• Considerable vegetation growth under the barrier rope which pose a significant fire risk and maintenance issues.
The review of the barriers will include consultation with key stakeholders such as the CFA and RACV to determine a common sense approach to the placement and extent of their implementation.
“The safety benefits of wire rope barriers are indisputable when they are used in a strategic way, but Labor has taken this project and aggressively expanded the rollout with little consideration of where the barriers are being placed.
“The haste with which the project is being carried out is not allowing enough time for the scrutiny and inspection required to ensure the barriers are installed correctly, which in some
cases is resulting in barriers being only 30 centimetres from the edge of the traffic lane in locations around the state, when the VicRoads desirable minimum offset is four metres.
“Senior CFA staff have warned that the barriers are a hindrance in fire situations, particularly where they impede access and manoeuvrability for fire trucks.
“It is exasperating to watch millions of taxpayers’ dollar being spent on this when our roads are in desperate need of basic maintenance and repair.”
“In government we oversaw the successful installation of barriers in areas where there was clear evidence it would save lives,” Mr Bull said.
“Importantly, the money being used to fund the current rollout will be immediately redirected towards other country road safety measures, like improving road surfaces.”
Shadow Minister for Roads, David Hodgett, said, “The Premier for Melbourne has botched the installation of wire rope barriers and it’s putting the lives of motorists and emergency services at risk.
“Daniel Andrews has ignored maintaining and repairing Victoria’s regional roads for the last three years and as a result they have become dangerous. Too many of our regional roads have large and dangerous potholes as well as crumbling bitumen on road shoulders which need urgent repair, rather than wire rope put up along the edges.”
Caption: The Liberal/Nationals will halt the blanket roll out of wire rope barriers if elected in November, pending concerns including that they impede emergency services vehicles and that they are being installed too close to the side of the road, inhibiting drivers from being able to safely pull over after a flat tyre or breakdown.
Tuesday, February 13, 2018