Victoria's road network

The management, maintenance and development of Victoria's roads is shared between VicRoads, municipal councils, Transurban, Connect East , Southern Way, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and other Government Departments.

Funding for roads

Funding for Victoria’s road network comes from Federal, State and Local Government sources, except for privately operated freeways which are funded by the private owners and operators.

Freeway and arterial roads

The majority of Victoria's traffic is carried on freeways and arterial roads. These roads provide the principal routes for the movement of people and goods between major regions and population centres of the State, and between major metropolitan activity centres, together with links to major freight terminals and tourist areas in both rural and metropolitan areas. These routes provide a safe, efficient and integrated road transport system for the economic and social benefit of the community. VicRoads arranges for freeways (excluding privately operated freeways) and arterial roads to be upgraded and constructed as necessary. For example, upgrades may be needed to accommodate changes in population size and location and increased road use for freight, business and private travel.

VicRoads is also responsible for the ongoing maintenance of these roads. See more information on VicRoads maintenance activities.

You can search for freeways and arterial roads anywhere in Victoria using the Maps of Declared Roads.

Classification of freeways and arterial roads

VicRoads must consider the following principles before declaring a road to be a Freeway or Arterial Road. These principles are described in section 14 of the Road Management Act 2004(External link), which also sets out the form of notice and procedures that apply to such a declaration.

VicRoads must consider if the road:

  1. provides a principal route for the movement of people and goods:
    • between major regions of the State; or
    • between major centres of population or between major metropolitan activity centres; or
    • to major transport terminals; or
    • across or around cities; or
  2. is a major route for public transport services; or
  3. has State-wide economic or tourism significance; or
  4. provides necessary connections between arterial roads.

Facts and benefits of the road network

  • There’s approximately 150,000 kilometres of roads open for general traffic (from major freeways to minor local roads) and a further 50,000 kilometres of other minor roads and tracks in parks and forests.
  • The 23,000 kilometres of freeways and arterial roads managed by VicRoads are valued at around $27 billion.
  • The Victorian arterial road network carries approximately 350 million tonnes of freight.
  • Almost all goods in the metropolitan area and more than 80 per cent of goods in country Victoria are transported by road.
  • Much of the Victorian economy, including tourism, depends on the efficient and effective management of the roads.
  • Efficient freight routes and links are essential to reduce the costs of transport to local and overseas markets.

Road types and responsible authorities

The following information explains the organisations that are responsible for each type of road in Victoria.

Freeways (except privately operated freeways)


Freeways (privately operated)

Tollways (privately operated)

Arterial roads

VicRoads is the coordinating road authority for all arterial roads in Victoria, and has overall coordination responsibilities for all parts of the arterial road reserves.

Arterial roads in urban areas

VicRoads, and the relevant municipal council, as the responsible road authorities, have operational responsibility for the following parts and elements of the arterial road:

  • through traffic lanes - VicRoads
  • other (including service roads, pathways and roadside areas) - municipal councils.

Operational responsibilities include such activities as the construction, inspection, maintenance and repair of road infrastructure.

Arterial roads in non-urban areas

VicRoads, as the responsible road authority,  has operational responsibility for the roadway and roadside of these arterial roads (but excluding pathways and service roads, which are the responsibility of municipal councils).

Further information on the allocation of responsibilities between VicRoads and municipal councils on arterial roads can be found in the Code of Practice for Operational Responsibility for Public Roads [PDF 850 Kb]

Further information about the specific roads for which VicRoads is responsible is available by using the on-line Maps of Declared Roads.

Municipal roads and other roads (non-arterial State roads and minor roads and tracks)

  • Municipal councils for municipal roads
  • Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning (DELWP) and others, including Parks Victoria, for non-arterial State roads and minor roads and tracks
  • VicRoads for a very small number of non-arterial State roads.
Road type Coordinating Road Authority Responsible Road Authority
Freeway (except privately operated) VicRoads VicRoads
Freeway (privately operated) Varies
Melbourne CityLink - Transurban
Eastlink - ConnectEast
Peninsula Link - Southern Way
Arterial (urban) VicRoads
VicRoads (through traffic)
Council (service roads, pathways, roadside)
Arterial (non-urban) VicRoads
Council (service roads, pathways)
Municipal Council Council
Non-arterial State
eg. DELWP, Parks Victoria
(VicRoads for small number of these roads)
eg. DELWP, Parks Victoria
(VicRoads for small number of these roads)

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