New road blocking charge to cut Yarra congestion

| May 30, 2018

Developers and private companies will be charged for blocking traffic lanes under a new trial aimed at cutting inner city congestion and boosting traffic flow in Yarra in Victoria.  If the trial is successful, the charges could be adopted elsewhere in the state and across the nation.

From Friday, private developers who occupy road space and traffic lanes on arterial roads through the City of Yarra will incur a weekly charge that is scaled to the proportion of disruption.

These charges have been set in consultation with Victoria’s Valuer-General.

Currently, most local governments charge developers who set up construction equipment, scaffolding or worksites in traffic lanes. This trial extends those arrangements to cover arterial roads.

The trial aims to encourage shorter disruption for commuters and smarter construction methods.

Revenue from the three-month trial will go towards the management and improvement of the road network through the development of road surveillance teams, to improve worker and community safety and increase CCTV.

A similar model trialled in London resulted in a 21% boost in traffic flow and a reduction in congestion on those heavily trafficked routes where a road occupation charge is in place.

Given the results of this trial, Transport for London is implementing an ongoing lane rental scheme beyond the trial.

VicRoads will work with councils to develop a robust surveillance and education policy to ensure road occupations are better monitored and enforced where developers take up valuable road space.

Throughout the trial, VicRoads will closely monitor the impact on the surrounding road network and the impacts of the road occupancy scheme on congestion and traffic flow.

The state’s Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan, said that “drivers know how frustrating it is when construction clogs up road space, shutting lanes and causing bottlenecks across important routes – this trial will encourage them off the road, where possible, to keep traffic moving.”

“This road occupancy trial will charge people who make a profit out of blocking important public roads and traffic lanes which should be kept free for everyone to enjoy.”

VicRoads Deputy Chief Executive Robyn Seymour agreed that “road occupancy charging has been successfully trialled in London, boosting traffic flow by 21% and reducing congestion on heavily trafficked routes where a road occupation charge is in place and we’re confident of similar positive results.”