RACV cooks the books with Red Spot Roads Survey. Communities need to act now to promote public transport. The roads lobby group, the RACV, has launched its biennial “Red Spot” survey which can be expected to form the basis of a political campaign for more road projects and funding.
In previous years this campaign has received extensive publicity through local Leader newspapers in Melbourne, and the survey results are used by the RACV to bring pressure on state and local government representatives. The survey results are expected to be released in October. The campaign projects the impression of even handedness with its invitation on the RACV website to “Nominate congested locations on our roads or public transport network that make you see red.”
However, The survey form in the Leader newspapers offers only token recognition of public transport. The Red Spots are only on roads and just one of many questions in the survey provides the opportunity to nominate a bus stop, tram stop or railway station. And that’s it for public transport!
Similarly if you go to the RACV website to nominate a Red Spot it only shows locations on the road network for people to nominate (see http://www.redspotsurvey.com.au/nominations/2012-redspot-survey ).
Most ominously for residents of Banyule the promotional article for the Red Spot survey in the Heidelberg Leader on 26 May reported that “Roads Minister Terry Mulder said the North-East link was still being considered as part of a strategy to identify population growth and demographic change, transport and infrastructure needs.”
So if you think that a rail service to Doncaster or Rowville or Melbourne Airport are superior solutions for transport in Victoria rather than additional road or freeway space there is no way you could say so in the RACV’s Red Spot survey. Nor could you be able to say that bus service frequencies should be improved, or run earlier, later or more directly. And, unlike most good quality surveys there is no opportunity for respondents to provide general comments.
The bias in these RACV Red Spot surveys is also confirmed in the “results” shown on the RACV website for the 2010 survey – it also only lists issues related to roads.
The RACV Red Spot survey is weighted against sustainable transport and will steer responses to prop up RACV’s endless campaigning for ever more expansion in road space. It’s a beat-up.
You can assist in nullifying this RACV campaign by:
- Writing to your local Leader newspaper to point out the flaws in the Red Spot survey and identify major weaknesses in Melbourne’s public transport;
- If you happen to be a member of RACV, by writing to them and complaining that they are misspending your money; and
- joining up with local and state-wide organisations that are campaigning for an effective public transport system in Melbourne.
You may have other ideas on how to campaign on the issue. Please get in touch with us if you do. It is expected the survey results will be released publicly in October
- Public transport needs imporving, say city dwellers (confused.com)
- Bicycle path strategy ‘abandoned’ (eco-business.com)
- Future vision for Victoria (panfilocastaldi.wordpress.com)