Motoring clubs around Australia have launched a combined effort to make funding for roads a major issue at the federal election, amid increasing traffic chaos in Perth.
Last week, Western Australia’s RAC hosted Australian Automobile Association executive director Andrew McKellar for the local launch of its Driving the Agenda campaign to garner political support for as much as $100 billion in infrastructure spending nationally.
One of the key issues highlighted by the campaign is congestion, which has become a significant problem in Perth.
Last month navigation systems group TomTom ranked Perth second-highest in terms of traffic congestion in Australia, outdone only by Sydney.
The TomTom Congestion Index gave Perth an overall congestion score of 30 per cent, just 3 percentage points behind Sydney and the infamously traffic-heavy Los Angeles, and well ahead of giants like London, Berlin and Chicago.
For the peak-hour period, Perth’s congestion score rose to 55 per cent, meaning that for every one hour spent on the road during normal traffic conditions, peak hour added 33 minutes of delay.
A 2012 RAC BusinessWise-CCI Congestion Survey of more than 400 businesses found that despite the State’s current strong economic performance, a staggering 84per cent of respondents believe that traffic congestion is having a negative impact on business.
This growing frustration comes against a backdrop of a ballooning number of cars on the city’s roads: an RAC’s report, released in March, showed that a whopping 144,000 vehicles were registered in 2012 alone and projected the total to reach 3 million as early as 2019.
Furthermore, Main Roads figures published last year revealed that our peak traffic period is not only becoming more congested, but is lasting for longer, with the Kwinana and Mitchell freeways now officially congested from 6am-9am and from 3:30pm-6:30pm every weekday.