DoT looks towards recovery and getting Melbourne moving again.

MTF September meeting was very pleased to get a comprehensive briefing from senior Department of Transport officers about the new structure and the priorities in these COVID times. This included advocating Councils bring forward Active Transport projects for rapid approval.

Nick Foa, Deputy Secretary, Transport Operations, Department of Transport, explained the structures and priorities. While Alan Fedda, Executive Director of Metropolitan North-West Victoria, Department of Transport, provided a deep dive into the projects on the go.

The breathtaking takeaway was the scope of the new DOT: More than $70 billion in projects, 120K jobs, 4K employees, 40 acts of parliament, and three ministers. Interestingly, within this monolithic structure, roads and public transport are covered by one Minister – Ben Carroll.

Every Department has a set of headline goals, in this case mission priorities were a reformist agenda:

1 Significantly less congested metropolitan networks
2 Faster more reliable freight movement
3 First and last mile mobility.

Much emphasis was given to progressing Victoria’s Big Build despite COVID restriction. The list of projects on the go is staggering. But even so, they have one eye on the post COVID normal and another on coping with increased traffic congestion as PT usage remains lower than normal.

Alan Fedda provided a detailed insight into the roll-out of congestion busting technology across the road network. This included trials of real time adjustments informed by a roll-out of 700 CCTV cameras and other data sources.

Of most immediate interest to LG was moves to make all clearways tow-away zones and increased road-occupation charges.

Mr Fedda recommended Councils bring forward innovative active transport projects, like pop-up bike infrastructure. He said DOT were keen to innovate to get people moving.

He said the State was already building 250kms of new active transport links.