Road repairs diverted to fix wire ropes

Wire rope barriers promise widow vote honoured diverted

If riders needed another reason to reject wire rope barriers, it could be the fact that VicRoads has diverted road repair funds to fixing damaged barriers.

Riders have long been divided on whether WRBs are dangerous or not.

Thousands of riders have signed a petition to halt the rollout in Victoria.

The petition was launched last year by Liberal MP Richard Riordan (Polwarth) at the request of widow Jan White. Her husband , Phil, was killed when his Harley hit a kangaroo on the Calder Highway in November 2017. He was thrown from his bike and hit the WRBs, knocking down four posts.

CLICK HERE if you want to the sign the anti-WRB petition. (You don’t have to live in Victoria to sign the petition. Anyone who rides in Victoria can sign.)

Funds diverted

Bad Roads Rally roadworks potholes Victoria road hazards bump diverted
Rural Victorian road

Now Richard has exposed that VicRoads diverted taxpayer funds from country road repairs to fix damaged wire rope barriers.

Motorcycle Riders Association of Victoria spokesman Damien Codognotto says that as well as safety concerns, wire rope barriers come at a high maintenance cost.

“Wire rope barriers have a shorter working life and are much more easily damaged than w-beam steel or concrete barriers,” he says.

“VicRoads has publicly admitted that more than 3000 repairs had to be done on wire rope barrier in a year.

“Each repair requires a truck, special tools spare parts and a trained crew of at least two. It has to be the most expensive barrier type ever used in Victoria.

“VicRoads and TAC believed their own hype and spent $ billions on wire rope barrier. They did not budget for the repair costs.”

He says the result is that money was “quietly diverted” from fixing rural roads and keeping them in safe condition to cover their “financial/safety blunder”.

Meanwhile, the State Government has only budgeted $425 million allocated to fixing rural roads this financial year and there is now talk of reducing the country speed limit to 80km/h.

Safety concerns

Damien says safety concerns about wire rope barriers were vindicated by a crash last week on the Monash Freeway where a small SUV flatted the barriers and hit a concrete bridge.

“The wire rope barrier was placed specifically placed to stop cars hitting the bridge,” he says.

“It failed. Four people went to hospital. One critical. The car was destroyed. The freeway was closed during the morning traffic peak period.

“How much did all that cost?

“Time and again the media records wire rope barrier not performing as promoted by VicRoads and TAC. People are getting hurt and killed.”

He says barrier crashes such as on the Monash Freeway, are generally not recorded in VicPol accident reports.

13 Comments

  1. I tried to leave this on TAC site but it only wants “positive”stories about rope wire barrier.

    Princes hwy near morwell. 2 lanes with barriers both sides. No room to park a car safely. Police pull over a car lights flashing. They block one lane. Traffic brakes hard to get to 40k limit all trying to get into one lane. Scary and dangerous.

  2. We don’t call them a shredder for nothing.. Hit one of them and you will loose your leg and probably the rest of you as well.

  3. The authorities have been sprouting that the effectiveness of the barriers have been proven as the road toll had fallen last year. Haven’t seen or heard any sprouting this year. Because the road toll has risen enormously. We were at a 14 year high for the same time of the year only a week ago! I really want to know how many accidents involve wrb? We will never ever know because these stats creatively disappear. I just heard of another mc accident involving wrb. The report did not mention wrb.

  4. Swerve to miss the giant pothole, only to be confronted with a wire barrier which IS dangerous to motorcyclists because they grab you and stop you to fast. makes sense.

  5. Where else would road barrier repair money come from than the road maintenance budget?
    Seems this is just trying to stir people up.

  6. What you should be asking is, what relationship does the barrier suppliers have with govt transport agency?
    Family connections?

  7. Let`s take a look at the Midland Highway between Mooroopna and Stanhope Victoria.Vicroads have installed wire rope in the middle of a single lane Highway stretch of 27 km claiming it was to stop head on collisions on this stretch of road,they lied to the local people,i have proof there is no record of any head on collisions on that road, in fact almost ALL where at intersections! I have proof of that too! When i asked them why they don`t spend the money on improving those cross roads they didn`t want to know me and just fobbed me off!……..I thought they want to save lives not “take” them!…Shame on Vic roads!

  8. I was traveling on the Sydney Newcastle expressway on my zx14r, big bike for a girl I know, A car changed lanes on me, a car so close to my rear all i could do was throttle on, if i hadnt I would have been pushed into one of those wire ropes , outcome would have definitely been death.

  9. The utter stupidity of politicians and bureaucrats, they build dangerous barriers and then because of cost they let the roads deteriorate so that cars & motorcycles are thrown into their barriers. It really makes sense doesn’t it?

  10. East Gippsland shire has requested 20km of side road barriers be removed between stratford and bairnsdale as there is no room to pull of the side of the road in an emergency. Also owners of properties having to cross through the centre barrier don’t have enough room to turn effectively. It’s a shambles.

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