Report warns of worsening traffic problems in Australia

Traffic on the Warringah freeway in Sydney Source: AAP

A landmark report has warned a massive investment is needed- to avoid a congestion crunch on some of the nation's busiest roads.

(Transcript from World News Radio)

 

If it feels as though you're spending hours each week stuck in traffic- things are only set to get worse.

 

A landmark audit targeting Australia's transport systems has warned a massive investment is needed- to avoid a congestion crunch on some of the nation's busiest roads.

 

Hannah Sinclair reports.

 

(SFX car horns beeping...)

 

With a growing population and more cars on the road, Infrastructure Australia has a dire warning for motorists.

 

An audit report estimates the cost of road congestion will soar to more than 50-billion-dollars in coming years.

 

Commissioned by the federal government, the audit warns without action, road travel times will increase by at least 20 per cent by 2031.

 

It's suggested motorists and public transport users should pay more to fund new roads and tunnels.

 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says it's about keeping people moving.

 

"We've got to get building. Because if we don't get building we won't stay moving. There are a whole range of ways of funding better infrastructure. Tolls have their place and government has its place. And what you'll see is a judicious mix of increased government spending and elements of user charge."

 

Sydney is home to seven of the most congested roads in the country.

 

The Mitchell Freeway Corridor in Western Australia is the fourth most congested.

 

South Australia's Goodwood Road and Victoria's City Link-Eastern Freeway also make the top ten.

 

The audit found, on average, demand for public transport in the capital cities is set to double over the next 20 years.

 

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says a growing population needs more transport options.

 

"Australia's cities are choking because of a lack of rail, lack of public transport because of Tony Abbott's irrational dislike of public transport. And also their lack of funding for the big projects. We've got a 45 billion dollar infrastructure black hole which is being dug by Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey and what we need to see is more action on infrastructure."

 

Treasurer Joe Hockey says getting cars moving will improve the economy.

 

He told the Seven Network the government is committed to infrastructure funding but it needed to be in partnership with the states.

 

They run the roads, particularly in the cities. We have partnerships all around Australia, but unfortunately in Melbourne the new state government cancelled the East West but in other capital cities we've got projects underway.

 

Infrastructure Australia says it will consult widely with the public, business and peak bodies before submitting its plan to the government later this year.

 

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch