Report calls for $838m in funds

A REPORT by the RACV has recommended Greater Bendigo needs $838 million in funding in the next decade to solve its road and transport problems.

RACV recommends upgrades to roads

The Regional Growing Pains report called for an injection of $4.6 billion  into regional Victoria in the next 10 years.

City of Greater Bendigo mayor Barry Lyons said Greater Bendigo needed a cash injection to improve transport services.

"We need to look to the future for the next 10 to 15 years and we need to be ready for that growth.

We need to look to the future...and be ready for that growth. - Barry Lyons

"We have done a fair bit (of transport improvement) over the years but out infrastructure is still not quite up to speed."

Almost 8000 people completed the Regional Growing Pains survey to help outline the most pressing transport concerns.

Priority projects for the RACV include the Calder Freeway/Highway upgrade, the Calder Alternate Highway interchange, improvements to the outer-arterial roads, the North-Western truck route, the Bendigo East Link road, an intergrated transport corridor, the Marong West Truck Bypass and the completion of an outer-box route around the Bendigo CBD.

The report also called for upgrades to the Bendigo railway station and the Bendigo, Echuca and Swan Hiill rail lines as well as the completion of the Epsom railway station.

"With Epsom station coming on board and Kangaroo Flat, Bendigo and Eaglehawk being busy, we have the possibility of an internal rail system," Cr Lyons said.

"We need to do more work on the line than Melbourne to run more trains at more regular times to help accommodate for the future."

RACV general manager Brian Negus said whichever party wins the upcoming state election should commit to working with local councils to complete the vital transport projects.

“The completion of these projects is vital to the future liveability and economic viability of our regional communities which rely heavily on the provision of safe and efficient transport," he said.

“On behalf of our members and all regional Victorians, RACV calls on the Federal and State Governments to adopt our blueprint and deliver an accelerated and ongoing program of works in regional Victoria over the next decade."

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