RACV report brings on a bout of road rage

THE Public Transport Users Association has accused the RACV of creating a smokescreen with its Growing Pains report in a bid to continue advocating for expensive road projects.

PTUA committee member Paul Westcott said the RACV was biased towards road funding and did not consider public transport a true priority.

"One has to be somewhat cynical about the RACV's latter-day 'conversion' and wonder whether it is part of a 'greenwash' by the organisation that still primarily advocates for expensive road projects such as the east-west tunnel."

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Mr Westcott was commenting on release of the report last week. Growing Pains argues that many south-east arterial roads are already at capacity and cannot cope with population growth from increased medium density housing.

The report calls on the state government to enlist federal government help to fund three road projects and six rail links.

While the RACV has costed most road works, the price for rail projects is unknown. The east-west tunnel, estimated to cost $9 billion, is among the RACV-supported road projects.

Public transport expert John Stone of the University of Melbourne said a so-called "balanced program" that spent money on roads and public transport had been proven not to work.

"While they continue to promote things like the east-west tunnel and the other roads then the accusation of 'greenwash' is unfortunately quite possible," Dr Stone said.

"We've got so little money available for these projects that we have to make sure every dollar we spend improves the network, and if we don't have the network plan first, we're almost guaranteed to spend our infrastructure money unwisely."

Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber called for better public transport options for the outer suburbs.

"We should stop growing the city onto new greenfields land until the government catches up with transport services for these new suburbs."

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