VicRoads seem intent on removing the character of beautiful country roads, these days preferring to refer to trees using the engineered term “roadside obstacles.” Between 35 and 100 roadside trees which are mainly Yellow and Red Gums are in the firing line along the scenic route from Ararat to the Grampians. If safety is really the issue, why can’t VicRoads specify more sensible speed limits on picturesque country roads, rather than a full assault on the environment?
- Western Highway. Save the trees – yes! “Alternative,” damaging route – no!
- VicRoads’ continued war on trees: 90 Endangered Strzelecki Gums lined up
- Melbourne Metro Rail Project to inflict considerable damage to St Kilda Rd and the Domain Parklands
- SaveRoadsideTrees.com brought to public attention!
- 100 year old Lemon Scented Gum being removed on Flemington Rd, Melbourne
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Louise Costa on Western Highway. Save the tree… macinverts on Western Highway. Save the tree… Judy Cameron on Western Highway. Save the tree… Michelle Bennett on VicRoads’ continued war… Angie Gallagher on Melbourne Metro Rail Project t…
are they putting in safety barriers where they can to minimise the number of trees removed? Ask for a risk assessments on the ones that are on the inside of a curve in places where runoffs are less likely
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They may be installing wire rope and/or Armco metal barriers. VicRoads has received a lot of funding from the TAC (a State-owned insurance company) to remove trees on roadsides around Victoria. So VicRoads will naturally continue removing trees. What is needed is independent oversight of the statistics they use for these projects. They also need to weigh the statistics against the many values of roadside trees. At present they don’t value them in dollar terms at all. VicRoads has always resisted that. An appalling situation.
TAC statistics for specific locations are difficult to find but the Ararat Community Road Safety Strategy 2012-15 has shows that section of road from 1/6/2005 to 30/6/2011 had 4 non-injury accidents, and 2 serious (non-fatal) accidents, all classified as Off Path on curve or straight. There is no information on whether the drivers were drug/alcohol affected, speeding, or in unroadworthy vehicles etc. or whether there were any trees involved. ( You know how they’re inclined to jump out into the path of unwary drivers!)
This all looks like a job creation program for VicRoads.
The VicRoads solution is to install a wire rope barrier, necessitating a planning permit to remove native vegetation. This has caused a delay of many months on the safety project, much extra cost to obtain vegetation offsets, and many stringent conditions in the planning permit.
On the other hand if they’d adopted the same standard as applies on many kilometres of the same road, i.e. well designed Armco barrier, then there would have been no need for vegetation removal, and the whole project could have been completed by now.
Short sections of Armco barrier can easily protect the groups of trees now under threat, compared to the long runs of wire rope barrier which will be required under the current proposal.
So why not use a more effective barrier and keep the vegetation. This doesn’t stack up on either ecological or economic grounds.