Grrr… ahhh! If there’s one thing that frustrates the hell out of local shire councils it’s getting blamed for the state of VicRoads’ highways and byways.
The reality is, that they’ve got enough trouble looking after their own extensive networks.
But it’s hard to make the distinction between their roads and our roads.
At the Bass Coast Shire Council’s ‘Help shape a better Bass Coast’ community discussion sessions last week, the poor condition of roads was a consistent theme but what many people don’t realise is that the council itself doesn’t control most of the roads throughout the shire. VicRoads is responsible for the arterial network and all major high traffic roads and highways in the shire.
Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Pamela Rothfield, tried to clear up the confusion.
“Council is the road manager for 938km of local roads,” she said.
“Council manages its roads in accordance with the Road Management Act and Council’s Road Services Asset Management Plan.
“Council is responsible for renewal, maintenance and operational activities and roads are maintained to service levels prescribed in the Management Plan.
“Local roads include rural and urban roads and the network is made up of both sealed and unsealed roads.”
The Bass Coast Shire Council and VicRoads officers meet from time-to-time to work to discuss issues of mutual interest but Council does not have any legislative power over VicRoads and is only able to advocate, like you and me, for any priority actions.
There is, however, some opportunity for council to provide feedback and input into VicRoads’ planning, based on community needs.
Cr Rothfield said council will continue to improve the local road network via annual renewal and maintenance programs.
“These programs include resealing works, road pavement reconstruction, drainage works, line marking and road safety improvement works,” she said.
“Council has a sealing rural roads program which allows for approximately 1km of rural road to be sealed each year.”
So it’s going to take a while!
“An annual road safety improvement program exists to improve intersections and other sites identified with road safety issues,” Cr Rothfield said.
“Council applies for funding such as Blackspot improve road safety. This year council was successful in attracting approximately $1.5 million in Blackspot funding for improvements to Agar Road in Coronet Bay and Woodleigh-St Helier Road in Woodleigh.”
For any issues related to the local road network, you can contact council on 1300 BCOAST.
Contact VicRoads on 13 11 71 for any concerns relating to the arterial network.
Clearly there’s potential to get duck-shoved around between agencies but the shire will at least try to help.