Auditor pans Melbourne transport planning

18 Apr 2013

The Auditor General has released a report on Managing Traffic Congestion that criticises Melbourne transport planning and suggests a very different approach.

In a nutshell, the Auditor General is highly critical of the current approach of building more roads and freeways while ignoring 'demand management.'  Demand management includes road pricing, parking controls, transit lanes, carpooling and facilitating walking or cycling.  As reported in The Age, the report also criticises the Government's focus on the East West Link freeway tunnel.

Included in the report is this revealing graph of traffic growth between 2000 and 2010.  It shows that ALL traffic growth in the last decade has been on freeways, as the government indulged in an expensive frenzy of  freeway construction encouraging people to drive more, and further.

The Auditor General's report is far from perfect  - focusing solely on traffic congestion as the fundamental transport issue is a dangerous approach that has a high risk of marginalising other transport modes.  Walking is barely mentioned in the report.  Nonetheless, the report is a helpful wake up call for Melbourne transport planning.