Road maintenance call for SA budget funding
Fixing a $1.5 billion road maintenance backlog should be a priority for the South Australian government in its upcoming budget, to help the push towards zero road deaths, the state's peak motoring group says.
The Royal Automobile Association has also called for funding to duplicate key regional road corridors as a safety measure.
The RAA says the government should allocate $750 million over the next four years to start to tackle the state's deteriorating road network, as well as $800 million to progress the duplication of the Augusta, Sturt and Dukes highways.
It says both measures are critical to achieving zero road deaths by 2050.
Senior manager for safety and infrastructure Charles Mountain said maintaining and improving South Australia's road network to a safe standard was a critical task that required significant investment.
"We can no longer delay ramping up road maintenance. If we don't act, and act fast, the problem will get out of control and the state simply won't be able to afford to reel it back in," Mr Mountain said.
"If we let our roads deteriorate too much, they will not only cost more to upgrade to an acceptable standard; they become a hazard for motorists, cyclists and all other road users."
Mr Mountain said there should also be separate budget funding to restore the estimated 1200 kilometres of roads damaged in the recent River Murray floods.
In its budget wish list, the RAA called for $500 million to upgrade east-west links in Adelaide's northern suburbs to ease congestion, $100 million to upgrade the Mallee Highway and Victor Harbor Road, $40 million to install a third safety ramp on the South Eastern Freeway and $40 million over four years to upgrade cycling infrastructure.
It said the government should complete and release a plan to transition public transport to zero emissions to meet the 2050 target of net zero emissions.
The SA budget will be handed down on June 15.