Proposed changes good for Victorian fleets

Victorian fleet services are regularly troubled by congestion on the Monash Freeway, but proposed changes by the Victorian Coalition Government indicate that solutions could be around the corner.

As well as affecting fuel consumption and running costs, having vehicles stuck in traffic can cost businesses due to late shipments and missed deadlines. As part the Victorian Government's Plan Melbourne project, the Managed Motorway program looks into new and innovative ways to utilise motorway infrastructure.

As state roads become busier, these ideas will be essential to unclog main routes.

Essentially, the Government has received suggestions from VicRoads which indicate that the shoulders between the South Gippsland Freeway and Clyde Road could be turned into extra traffic lanes.

Investigations will now take place, with authorities looking into how safe these lanes can be and what sort of strengthening, drainage, line-marking and signage work is required.

Minister for Roads Terry Mulder said recent changes to the West Gate Bridge illustrate projects like this are possible - achieving lower congestion and improving freight efficiency.

During the initial construction of the Monash Freeway, authorities decided to build just two lanes in each direction. This was against the proposal, but went ahead. Local politicians, however, have voiced their support of this new investigation, stating the long term benefits of a three lane freeway.

"This solution could cut travel times in the southeast and make it easier for families and businesses to travel around Narre Warren," Councillor for Narre Warren South Susan Serey said.

Narre Warren North Deputy Mayor Amanda Stapledon added: "I'm glad the Coalition Government is looking at options to improve the Hallam Bypass, as it's a real bottleneck during peak times."

Fleet services should get an idea to whether the Monash Freeway Managed Motorways initiative is going ahead by the end of the year.