Almost 70 percent of Australians want truck movements restricted to non-peak periods and 50 percent of Australians want large trucks banned from cities, according to polling released today by a public transport and health coalition.The poll, of 1500 Australians was released at a Parliament House Summit addressing the issues of carbon pollution, road congestion, our growing population, and public transport.
The Auspoll survey also found that more than 80 percent of Australians want the Federal Government to be more involved in the strategic funding and planning of our public transport systems.
Bryan Nye, CEO of the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) says the polling confirms that Australians are tired of wasting time in traffic jams and want the Government to act.
“Traffic congestion costs Australians more than $15 billion a year through time wasted in traffic, delays and disruptions to businesses, associated health problems and road accidents. Our congested roads are a result of poor planning. It impedes Australia’s productivity and liveability of our cities. Australians want a solution,” said Mr Nye.
“This is not an argument about road or rail. However, if we are to relieve road congestion and make our roads safer, there is only one solution and that is the better use of our rail networks.”
According to the poll, 87 percent of Australians support improving public transport to reduce traffic congestion. If we are to achieve this, the Federal Government’s role is critical.
“Rail has been experiencing significant growth in major cities and regional areas. Over the past two years, passenger numbers have increased by 60,000 each week,” said Mr Nye.
“Our rail networks are reaching or exceeding capacity, particularly during peak periods. The Federal Government must take the lead in increasing capacity and planning for public transport across Australia. It must increase infrastructure funding and assist State Governments to deliver more services where they are needed,” continued Mr Nye.
Relieving capacity constraints in our transport systems will help position public transport as a key solution to road congestion, reducing carbon emissions, and minimising our dependence on imported oils.
“With the overwhelming number of Australians seeing a bigger role for the Federal Government in enhancing our public transport system, the Government must step up and take the challenge. The problems of congestion, carbon emissions and fuel vulnerability will only get bigger every day. We need to act now to secure a better and brighter future for all Australians,” concluded Mr Nye.
The poll was initiated by a coalition of seven key bodies; the ARA, Australian Conservation Foundation, Australian Local Government Association, Bus Industry Confederation, Cycling Promotion Fund, Heart Foundation, and International Public Transport Association.