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Attention Developers: Important Update on the Road Occupation Charge

As a builder or developer, it’s likely you and your team need to occupy arterial roads from time to time to complete essential works on your project. If so, there are some important changes you need to know about.

‘From 20 July 2020, construction companies and other organisations will be charged for their use of space on arterial roads.’
Source: VicRoads, ‘Road OccupationCharge’, https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/traffic-and-road-use/road-occupation-charging

So what does this mean for you? Read on to find out.

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What is the road occupation charge?

The road occupation charge has been introduced by the Department of Transport (DoT), with the aim of reducing traffic congestion in inner-city Melbourne. It applies to private parties who occupy arterial roads for private use. A trial of the road occupation charge was run over 6 months in Melbourne’s inner north and east during 2018. The findings of the trial were that the road occupation periods during that time reduced by an average of 75%, so the recommendation was to roll it out across inner-city Melbourne.

This means, if you’re a property developer working on a construction site, and you need to block off a lane on an arterial road within the specified zone, you will need to pay the road occupation charge.

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Which locations does the road occupation charge apply to?

The charge applies to road or lane closures by private parties on any inner city arterial road in Melbourne. According to VicRoads, ‘roads that provide the principal routes for moving people and goods between major regions and population centres’ are classified as an arterial road. The zone where the charge applies includes all inner city arterial roads, and extends out as far as Beaumaris in the south east, Balwyn North in the east, Glenroy in the north west and Kingsville in the west. You can view a list of all the postcodes where the charge applies on the VicRoads website.

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How much does the charge cost and who pays it?

At the time of writing, the charge will range between $173 and $252 per lane, per day. It is calculated based on how many lanes you are occupying and for how long, as well as the importance of the road and the value of the location to the community. On top of this, private parties are also required to pay a compulsory bond of $10,000. As VicRoads explains, ‘This is an incentive to ensure the roads are restored to their original condition in the case that damage occurs during occupation’.

Your traffic management company will submit the application on your behalf, but you’ll need to allow around 3 weeks as a minimum lead time for the application to be approved. While the traffic management company will handle the application, it’s the responsibility of the company or organisation who are occupying the road to pay the charge and bond.

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Summary of the key points

As the road occupation charge will impact builders and developers working within the inner-city zone, it’s important to be across what this means for you.

Here’s a recap and summary of the key points of the charge:

  • It applies to private parties occupying arterial roads within the inner city Melbourne zone
  • If you need to block an arterial road within the zone, you’ll need to have a licence
  • Your traffic control company will submit the application for you
  • You should allow at least 20 days lead time between the submission and the works
  • As the private party, you will be required to pay the fee and bond
  • The fee will be between $173–$252 per day, per lane and the bond is $10,000
  • The DoT will provide surveillance of road occupations to ensure compliance.

Have a question or need to know more?

If you’d like to know more about how this will impact your business, you can visit the VicRoads website’s Road Occupation Charge page or contact them direct on roadocc@roads.vic.gov.au

If you have a question about the article or need help with telecommunications on your next project, feel free to get in touch with our team. 

And if you need help with any aspect of traffic management, our team at MCS Traffic are ready to help too!

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