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Trevor Collett | Jul, 07 2015 | 15 Comments

The boss of VicRoads has declared some of Melbourne’s busiest roads are close to capacity, with no workable way of relieving the city’s congestion.

VicRoads CEO John Merritt said Melbourne cannot “build its way out of congestion”, and urged residents to consider alternatives to cars.

Public transport and cycling were two options on the CEO’s list, but Mr Merritt also suggested Melbournians find a job that’s closer to home.

And as Melbourne’s population was recently projected to overtake Sydney’s by 2061, Mr Merritt said the strain on the city’s roads was only going to worsen.

"We can't just build our way out of congestion," Mr Merritt said, speaking with the ABC.

"We need to invest heavily in public transport, which we are through Melbourne Metro, and we need to encourage people to cycle or to walk and make [those activities] feel as safe and as practical as we can."

Mr Merritt said while roads alone could not solve all of Melbourne’s congestion woes, they would continue to form a key part of the overall transport strategy.

Victoria's Public Transport Minister, Jacinta Allan, said the State Government was embarking on “a range of projects” to improve transport options in Melbourne.

Hoddle Street
Hoddle Street

The Minister pointed to Victoria’s rail 'level crossing' program, which aims to see 50 of the crossings replaced by flyovers or bridges to improve traffic flow, rail safety and congestion.

Victoria’s State Opposition argued the decision to scrap the East West Link was proof the Labor Government had its transport priorities wrong.

"We are growing at around 100,000 people a year and [Premier Daniel] Andrews' plan for our state is to say to Victorians ‘put on your walking shoes or get on your bike’," Shadow Attorney-General, John Pesutto, said. "It's not good enough."

Mr Merritt singled out congestion along Hoddle Street and Punt Road as "particularly challenging", as one of the peak congestion times was now on Saturdays.

MORE: Melbourne - 'Continuous Flow' Design Proposed For Hoddle Street Intersections
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Victoria | Congestion | Public Transport

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