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Victoria’s roads minister open to further bids to cut speed limits

“Our view is that these things need to be looked at on a case-by-case basis and the Mornington Peninsula case that they put to us was very powerful,” she said. “If other councils similarly want to put a case about what they think is best for their community then we will take them seriously. We will look at them carefully.”

Ms Pulford said the Mornington Peninsula trial needed to run its course but “a lot of communities will be watching with some interest”.

The trial will apply only to “high-risk sealed rural roads”, not arterial roads.

Mornington Peninsula councillor David Gill lobbied successfully for widespread speed limit reductions after a steep increase in the number of road fatalities in the area.

Mornington Peninsula councillor David Gill lobbied successfully for widespread speed limit reductions after a steep increase in the number of road fatalities in the area. Credit:Joe Armao

Among other councils wanting to slash speeds is the City of Greater Geelong, which has submitted a list of more than 20 roads to VicRoads for consideration. So far, 11 people have died on Greater Geelong roads this year.

Ms Pulford disputed suggestions that travel times would blow out on the Mornington Peninsula because of the trial.

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“When you look at where these roads are on a map, lots of them don’t connect up with others and the arterial roads aren’t impacted by this decision,” she said.

Across Victoria, the road toll has reached 246 this year, compared to 213 for all of 2018.

The City of Greater Bendigo has also applied to lower the speed on one road and confirmed it would consider going further on other roads.

Opposition rural roads spokeswoman Roma Britnell said the government should be investing in road maintenance rather than lowering speed limits.

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“They’ve made the wrong decision with the Mornington Peninsula,” she said. “This lowering of speed limits is lazy policy.”

But the RACV gave strong support to the trial and promised to monitor it closely.

RACV transport, planning and infrastructure senior manager Peter Kartsidimas said there would be minimal impact on travel times because the roads involved in the trial were not long.

But he said the trial’s results could influence traffic management across the state.

“Any speed reduction needs to be on a case-by-case basis and show the value of making this change in terms of road safety,” Mr Kartsidimas said.

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