Friday, May 21, 2010

Freeway not worth cost

More proof of how well the State Government does its sums with respect to their transport plan.

THE economic case for the Brumby government's top transport project is in tatters, with its own figures revealing benefits barely a third of its multibillion-dollar price tag.

The WestLink freeway, a six-lane road under Footscray and through Sunshine West, was estimated to cost $3.5 billion when the state asked Canberra to fund it in October 2008.

But a confidential submission to the Rudd government reveals estimated economic benefits that would flow from building the freeway of just $1.14 billion. This included travel-time savings of $700 million and a reduction in crash costs of $11 million.

Canberra knocked back funding despite Victoria declaring last year the freeway was its ''number one priority project'' for federal funding. The Age understands a core reason was the poor economic return on building the road.

The cost of the project has since blown out to $5 billion, although Roads Minister Tim Pallas is pressing ahead with the freeway despite not having the money to build it.

Read the whole article here -

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