RACV 2012 Red Spot Black Mark

Can you spot the red spot?

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

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About Friends of Banyule Inc

President & Public Officer of Friends of Banyule Inc, a community not- for-profit organisation to enhance and protect the environmental assets of Banyule City. Currently fighting the proposed NE Link freeway through one of inner Melbourne's most ecologically sensitive areas and historical areas.
This entry was posted in Baillieu Government, Bus Services in Banyule, Car Dependency, Doncaster Rail, Hurstbridge rail line, Investment in Rail, Metro Trains, Ne-Link Freeway, Public Transport, Road Lobby, Vic Roads and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to RACV 2012 Red Spot Black Mark

  1. Tony B says:

    The solution for a problem can’t be more of the same, as what caused the problem in the first place. The problem is congestion on our roads, and the unsustainable use of cars. Adding more roads will exacerbate costs of roads, their maintenance problems and encourage more car usage. Surveys show that car usage per person has decreased over the years, and this should be encouraged. More freeways, more roads, tunnels will ultimately eliminate opportunities for public transport. Huge discoveries and advanced extraction techniques have changed the economics of drilling for oil and other petroleum products. However, they are more risky, invasive and ecologically threatening. While new fields come on stream, older fields are depleted and stop producing. With great effort and expenditure, the current level of oil production can possibly be maintained for a few more years, but beyond that oil production must begin a permanent & irreversible decline. The Stone Age did not end because of the lack of stones, and the Oil Age won’t end because of lack of oil. The issue is lack of further growth, followed by gradual, then steep decline. The RACV should be looking beyond car usage and their own vested interests.

  2. Good points, Tony. If you are an RACV customer or not I would encourage you to voice your concerns about their way of surveying by sending them a letter and writing to your local Leader newspaper.

  3. Thanks for the link to our blog, and for the insightful article into the inevitable bias of the RACV. We would love to see the Ministers for Planning and Transport combined into a single portfolio. Only when our government recognises that liveable suburbs and sustainable transport rely on one another will we get either.

  4. Vivienne Ortega says:

    Mr Melhem Melhem, the secretary of the AWU’s Victorian branch, said his support for the east-west project was not just about generating work for his members. Building public transport infrastructure would also provide work for the members of the AWU.

    Manufacturing industries are leaking out of Victoria. They are victims of globalization, decreasing exports, tariff reductions, and higher levels of imported goods. Former workers are being thrown into the wastelands of unemployment and financial hardship, so the east-west link project can’t be based on the seriousness about our manufacturing industries.

    The East West link is an expensive multi billion project aiming is to reduce congestion throughout Melbourne’s CBD. It’s also to drive productivity gain and generate economic growth, and facilitate freight transport between the Hastings and Melbourne Ports. It will attract more cars into the city, and costs to the public will not only be in more pollution, the division of inner suburbs, but financial.

    It’s multinational supply chains and big bulk stores that need to transport goods and services around and across our city. It’s in their interests to see the “gaps” in freeways linked, not the public and commuters whose interests are better served by more efficient and expanded public transport.

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