All South Australian road users are set to benefit from a range of infrastructure funding commitments announced at last night’s 2022-23 Federal Budget.
RAA has been calling for funding for many of the earmarked projects to reduce congestion, improve safety and enhance access for motorists, cyclists, pedestrians, and public transport users.
“Continued investment in our road network is key to both our State’s economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19 and to achieving the National Road Safety Strategy vision of zero lives lost on our roads by 2050,” said RAA Senior Manager of Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain.
Key projects announced for South Australia in today’s 2022–23 Federal Budget include:
“Investment in road infrastructure is a significant win for the South Australian community,” Mr Mountain said.
“It prevents injuries and deaths on our roads, saves commuters’ time, helps keep the cost of everyday items down by increasing the efficiency of freight transport, and creates hundreds of local jobs,” he said.
The Marion Road upgrade is just one project RAA has been publicly advocating for, with the notorious roadblock—created by the tram level crossing at Marion Road at Plympton—causing one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in Adelaide.
“Our research shows that addressing the Marion Road bottleneck could reduce traffic delays by more than an hour during peak periods,” Mr Mountain said.
“Tens of thousands of South Australians travel through this level crossing each day, and this relatively simple upgrade to the level crossing will save commuters time and make it safer and more accessible.
“Projects like the Marion Road upgrade and works on the South Eastern Freeway help bring our transport infrastructure up to date and benefit the community in many ways.”
RAA understands the Adelaide Hills Productivity and Road Safety Package will fix roads including Onkaparinga Valley Road, Long Valley Road, North East Road, Torrens Valley Road and Lobethal Road—all of which were identified as in need of upgrades in our recent Adelaide Hills Regional Road Assessment.
RAA also welcomed the $60m investment to protect the Stuart and Eyre Highways from future flood damage as part of targeted investment to improve national supply chain resilience.
“We’re disappointed there is no commitment to progress the duplication of the Augusta, Dukes and Sturt highways, which would support economic recovery and greatly improve road safety in regional areas,” said Mr Mountain.
He said there are other much-needed road improvements that don’t yet have funding, which is a reflection on why the State’s largest motoring organisation—along with its State and Federal counterparts— does not support cuts to the national fuel excise.
“With more lives lost on our roads last year than the year prior, and more people travelling as COVID restrictions ease, now is the time to be investing more in our roads and road infrastructure—not cutting billions of dollars of potentially life-saving funding.”