Great news for road users is that government has approved funding for a $4.1billion budget to upgrade and maintain roads. The 2012-2013 budgets provide for improvements over the next four years. This money will assist councils and shires to upgrade and maintain local roads. Good news for workers in the transport industry and ordinary road users alike.
A recent post by TandLnews.com.au reports:[content_box_light_blue width=”75%”]
Due to expire at the end of next financial year, the government has agreed to extend the Roads to Recovery Program for a further five years and maintain its annual funding at the current rate of $350.0 million, supplementing the support councils and shires receive under the Financial Assistance Grants Scheme.
An important aspect to the program is that local councils, rather than Canberra or state government bureaucrats, determine how the money is spent. Since the program was last extended in 2008, it has funded 13,589 local road projects. The distribution of funding between councils will continue to be determined by state and territory grants commissions.
Collectively, the nation’s councils and shires are responsible for more than 657,000 kilometres of road.
The Black Spot Program has been allocated $300 million which will extend it a further five years until 2019. Statistics are impressive if they are accurate, and estimate that 2000 accidents will be averted and 14 lives saved a year. The Black Spot projects target locations where vehicle crashes are highly prevalent. By providing safety measures such as traffic signals and roundabouts at these locations the Black Spot Program aims to reduce the risk of crashes.
Government believes that the costs in funding will be recouped in the long run by saving the community in accident costs which have been estimated at over 7 times more. The Government will provide $59.5 million per annum for 2013-14 for road safety projects under the Black Spot Program.
The post by tandlnews.com.au goes on to state:[content_box_light_blue width=”75%”]
According to a new assessment of the program being published alongside the Budget, this latest investment can be expected to prevent more than 2,000 accidents and the loss of 14 lives a year.
It will deliver a further 1,200 projects and builds on the $500 million already allocated to the program. To date, the government has completed safety improvements at some 1,425 sites around Australia, including:
Constructing and upgrading 152 roundabouts;
Redesigning and rebuilding 277 dangerous intersections;
Erecting and improving 225 sets of traffic lights; and
Installing new safety measures at 47 pedestrian crossings.
Projects funded, as well as the measures taken, are recommended by a panel of independent road safety experts. An important aspect of the program is that anyone can nominate a section of road they believe should be considered for a safety upgrade.
Following a detailed analysis of almost 1,600 completed black spot projects, the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economic (BITRE) has estimated the measures funded during the program’s first seven years are today preventing over 4,000 crashes and almost 30 road fatalities a year.
BITRE has also calculated that every $1 invested in the Program reduces the cost of road trauma to the community by $7.70 over the longer term. A full copy of the research can be downloaded from: www.bitre.gov.au.
Want to nominate a Black Spot ?
What makes a site eligible?
The Nation Building Program states the following:
[content_box_light_blue width=”75%”]Funding is mainly available for the treatment of Black Spot sites, or road lengths, with a proven history of crashes. Project proposals should be able to demonstrate a benefit to cost ratio of at least 2:1.
For individual sites such as intersections, mid-block or short road sections, there should be a history of at least three casualty crashes over a five-year period. For lengths of road, there should be an average of 0.2 casualty crashes per kilometre per annum over the length in question over five years; or the road length to be treated should be amongst the top 10% of sites with a demonstrated higher crash rate than other roads in a region.
The requirement of a history of crashes ensures that those sites that have a recurrent problem are targeted first for treatment.
The Black Spot Program also recognises that there are road locations which could be considered as ‘accidents waiting to happen’. Therefore, some program funds may be used to treat sites where road traffic engineers have completed a Road Safety Audit and found that remedial work is necessary. This allows an opportunity for proactive safety works to be undertaken before casualties occur.
For information and for spot nomination forms visit :