Cut congestion - BIC

A poll released this week indicates the political party that cuts traffic congestion would win votes at the next federal election

July 7, 2011

More than a third of Australians would be more likely to vote for a party with policies to address traffic congestion at the next Federal Election, according to an Auspoll poll.

"The polling shows voters want to see policies which address transport and living costs and this will play a role in deciding the voting preference of a significant number of them at the next federal election," Bus Industry Confederation Executive Director Michael Apps says.

Apps says an electoral analyses conducted by the BIC using data and maps developed by Griffith University clearly demonstrates parties that provide solutions to congestion would receive an electoral boost.

"Our analysis for every capital city showed 33 Federal seats held by a 6 percent or less and nine seats that changed hands at the 2010 Federal Election are in areas where increasing fuel prices threaten the ability of homeowners to meet their mortgage repayments," Apps says.

"We are yet to see a fuel price and transport concerns identified as election issues at a federal level, though public transport played a significant part in the Victorian and NSW state elections, but with fuel prices expected to continue rising the next Federal Election might be decided by who has the best policies to reduce congestion and reliance on cars."

The poll shows 82 percent of respondents support an increase in Federal Government funding for public transport and 87 percent supported Federal Government investment in public transport to address the issue of traffic congestion in major cities.

Monash University Professor of Public Transport Graham Currie says research demonstrated a strong connection between rising fuel prices and demand for public transport.

"Transport costs and the impact they have on household budgets tend to be felt hardest in areas of our cities and on the fringe of our major cities where public transport services are less available," Currie says.

"There needs to be a coordinated planning and investment approach to this problem led by the Government through its National Urban Policy and agreed on by all Federal parties to ensure good outcomes are achieved regardless of who is in Government," he says.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ABC e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook