Public pessimism soars on road infrastructure: survey

Government promises seen increasingly as leading to disappointment

Public pessimism soars on road infrastructure: survey
Confidence on road infrastructure and in safe cycling is under huge pressure.


Confidence in road infrastructure improvement is plummeting, a Sydney University Business School national public survey shows.

The school’s ITLS-Interfleet Transport Opinion Survey (TOPS) finds promises on roads as well as public transport have lost significant traction amongst respondents, with about half as many seeing a positive outlook compared with those measured in 2013.

Indeed, confidence recorded in the six-monthly reports on quarterly surveys hit a wall uniformly in the third-quarter of 2013 in questions related to respondents’ views of transport locally in a year’s time, nationally in a year’s time and nationally in five years’ time.

"Despite promises of significant investment in transport infrastructure, the public is clearly disappointed with their governments’ inability to make a noticeable difference to roads and public transport," professor David Hensher, the director of the School’s Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies, says.

On an index established at 100 in March 2010, public confidence in an improvement in local transport over the next year now stands at 54, down from 94 at the end of 2013.

Public confidence in an improvement in transport conditions nationwide in the next year has fallen from 104 to 56 while confidence in an improvement over the next five years has fallen since 2013 from 101 to 65 points on the TOPS index.

The most pessimistic states were South Australia and West Australia.

Better public transport remained the travelling public’s top priority, the school says, while fear of aggressive driving and heavy vehicles keep many from commuting by bicycle.

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