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Journeys : Aug Sep 2010
Tasmanian Government makes a start on its election commitments in the State Budget RACT was pleased to see the Government took some action on its infrastr ucture and road safety election commitments, in the 2010-11 State Budget. The Gover nment delivered funding for a number of the fifty initiatives the R ACT had called for in its state election document, A Roadmap for the Next Tasmanian Government. The Roadmap and the Government's response to its recommendations have been posted on the R ACT's website and are available to all members at w w w.ract.com.au/news _ and_issues "We particularly welcome the $430,000 allocated in this budget year to fund an alcohol interlocks program to tackle serious and repeat drink drivers," Vince Taskunas, R ACT's public policy spokesman says. However, Mr Taskunas sounds a note of caution about a new road funding approval system, concer ned that it may lead to delays, rather than decisions. "R ACT will closely watch the newly-announced system of road constr uction planning and approval -- the so-called Str uctured Infrastr ucture Investment Review Process," he says. "Treasurer Michael Aird has personally assured us that the Government's commitments contained in the $90 million Community Roads Package announced during the election will all be funded -- however, they will be directed through the new process first," Mr Taskunas says. "We will carefully monitor the situation to ensure that the new system will not add unnecessary bureaucracy to the road upgrade program." A number of road safety initiatives advocated and supported by the R ACT have received some funding, including: • More high-visibility livery for existing police vehicles, and confirmation of funding for new Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras • The continued funding for the valuable Community Road Safety Partnerships program • Support for investigating point-to-point speed enforcement • Confirmation of funding for the Rotary Youth Driver Awareness program for all Grade 10 school students We are also seeking to ensure that a Budget line item regarding $500,000 for line marking is not a replacement for an old program whose funding has now ended. Poor line marking is a con stant source of complaint from our members and leads to increased local road safety risk. It is a basic unit of road safety and should be funded appropriately. "We have called for more new funding in this area, and will continue to do so until we are satisfied," Mr Taskunas says. "We will also continue to publicly advocate for the other measures outlined in the R ACT's Roadmap document that have not been taken up yet." Keeping cars and bikes apart on the Channel Highway As previously reported in Motor News Journeys, the R ACT has been working in conjunction with the Kingborough Bicycle User Group (KBUG) to improve traffic flow over Bonnet Hill for both cyclists and vehicles. Kingborough Council and KBUG now report that concept designs have been prepared for the installation of uphill bicycle lanes. Chair of KBUG and Cycling South, Cr Flora Fox, says the proposed improvements will make the road safer and less frustrating for all road users. "The intention is to widen the road and install bicycle lanes to provide ample width for motor vehicles and bicycles on the uphill sections," Cr Fox told Motor News Journeys. "The Channel Highway r unning over Bonnet Hill between Kingston and Taroona carries a lot of traffic these days. As well as vehicular traffic it is the main commuter route for cyclists travelling between Kingston and Hobart." "This section of the Channel Highway is nar row and winding with double lines all the way and it is fr ustrating for motorists who have to follow slow-moving cyclists," says KBUG member Rob Sheers. "Overtaking cyclists can be a dangerous manoeuvre -- in most cases, it means crossing the double lines," he says. Kingborough Council and the State Gover nment have contributed to the cost of a road survey and preliminary design, which is with DIER for consideration and advice. Both the R ACT and KBUG are now looking to the gover nment to provide the required funding to enable the safety upgrade to be completed as soon as possible. RACT Annual General Meeting Members are advised that the 87th Annual General Meeting of The Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania Limited will be held on Wednesday 10 November 2010 at R ACT House, cnr Mur ray and Patrick Streets, Hobart. The official Notice of Meeting will be published in The Mercury, The Ex aminer and The Advocate on Wednesday 18 August 2010. Chair of KBUG and Cycling South, Kingborough Councillor Flora Fox In our community 7 August / September 2010
RACT MNJ June July 2010
Oct Nov 2010