Road Occupation Charge

Road occupation charge deferred

On the 6 March 2020, the Victorian Minister for Roads, Jaala Pulford, announced the introduction of a road occupation charge to reduce congestion across Melbourne’s road network. The road occupation charge was to apply to private parties occupying arterial roads from 1 April 2020. 

The Department of Transport (DoT) is deferring the application of the charge due to the significant detrimental impacts of coronavirus to Victorian businesses. We have made this decision to ensure we do not add additional stress to businesses in an already very challenging time. 

A new commencement date has not been determined and will be considered within the light of the changing circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic.

About the road occupation charge

The Victorian Government is introducing a major initiative to reduce traffic congestion in inner-city Melbourne by charging private parties a fee to occupy arterial roads for private use. The fee will be called the road occupation charge and will be managed by the Department of Transport (DoT).

The road occupation charge will apply to inner-city Melbourne arterial roads and was initially to commence from 1 April 2020.  When a new date for commencement is determined, it will extend across 121 suburbs from Beaumaris (South East) to Balwyn North (East) to Glenroy (North West) to Kingsville (West).  View all suburbs here.

The road occupation charge is between $173 and $252 per lane per day depending on the specific location. 

Why is DoT introducing the Road Occupation Charge?

When private parties occupy arterial roads it can have a negative effect on our road network. It contributes to traffic congestion, reduces community access to amenities, adversely affects the reliability of public transport and compromises the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, workers and the community.

The Road Occupation Charge will create a financial incentive to encourage private parties to occupy roads in a more efficient way, minimising disruption to traffic and the community. 

2018 road occupation charge trial

The rollout of the road occupation charge follows our highly successful trial in the City of Yarra last year.

During our trial we saw a reduction in the length of time private parties spent occupying arterial roads of up to 75%. This shows us road occupation charging is an initiative that will address this increasingly challenging issue.

Why is it so important to introduce the road occupation charge in Victoria now?

Victoria is undergoing one of the biggest transformations in infrastructure ever seen in our state.

In Melbourne and regional Victoria, record numbers of trucks and cars are on the roads - in fact, traffic volumes have grown by 20% in the past 10 years. These roads also carry buses and trams, cyclists and pedestrians, as well as taxis and rideshare services.

Our population is growing rapidly, adding more vehicles to an already busy road network and contributing to congestion. At the moment, 13 million trips are taken each day in Melbourne across all forms of transport. DoT estimates that by 2050 this number could increase to more than 23 million.

As Victoria’s road network operator, we’re committed to reducing congestion and increasing safety as Melbourne continues evolving.

View the Road Occupation Charge brochure [PDF 629Kb]

 


What is the road occupation charge?

The Victorian Government is introducing a major initiative to reduce traffic congestion in inner-city Melbourne by charging private parties a fee to occupy arterial roads for private use. The fee will be called the road occupation charge and will be managed by DoT.

When and where will the road occupation charge apply?

The road occupation charge will apply to inner-city Melbourne arterial roads and was to apply from 1 April 2020.

The Department of Transport (DoT) is deferring the application of the charge due to the significant detrimental impacts of the coronavirus to Victorian businesses. We have made this decision to ensure we do not add additional stress to businesses in an already very challenging time. 

A new commencement date has not been determined and will be considered within the light of the changing circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Why is DoT introducing the road occupation charge?

When private parties occupy arterial roads it can have a negative effect on our road network. It contributes to traffic congestion, reduces community access to amenities, adversely affects the reliability of public transport and compromises the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, workers and the community. 

The road occupation charge will create a financial incentive to encourage private parties to occupy roads in a more efficient way, minimising disruption to traffic and the community. 

Why is the road occupation charge so important now?

The state of Victoria is changing more rapidly than at any point in its history.

Significant population growth is leading to pressure on the road network to support the movement of people and goods. In Melbourne and regional Victoria, record numbers of trucks and cars are on the roads with traffic volumes growing by 20 per cent in the past 10 years. These roads also carry buses and trams, cyclists and pedestrians, as well as taxis and rideshare services.

At the moment, 13 million trips are taken each day in Melbourne across all forms of transport. DoT estimates that by 2050 this number could increase to more than 23 million.

With this in mind, it’s crucial that congestion is managed to reduce delays to travel times and make sure members of the community remain safe. 

Will the road occupation charge apply to the whole of Victoria? 

The road occupation charge will be applied to inner city arterial roads in Melbourne. It will extend as far as Beaumaris in the south east, Balwyn North in the east, Glenroy in the north west and Kingsville in the west.

View the suburbs for which the Road Occupation Charge will apply.

Suburb Pcode Suburb  Pcode  Suburb Pcode
Abbotsford 3067 East Melbourne 3002 Mount Albert 3127
Aberfeldie 3040 Elsternwick 3185 Moonee Ponds 3039
Airport West 3042 Elwood 3184 Murrumbeena 3163
Albert Park 3206 Essendon 3040 Niddrie 3042
Alphington 3078 Essendon Fields 3041 North Melbourne 3051
Armadale 3143 Essendon North 3041 Northcote 3070
Ascot Vale 3032 Essendon West 3040 Oak Park 3046
Ashburton 3147 Fairfield 3078 Ormond 3204
Avondale Heights 3034 Fawkner 3060 Parkville 3052
Balaclava 3183 Fitzroy 3065 Pascoe Vale 3044
Balwyn 3103 Fitzroy North 3068 Pascoe Vale South 3044
Balwyn North 3104 Flemington 3031 Port Melborne 3207
Beaumaris 3193 Footscray 3011 Prahran 3181
Bentleigh 3204 Gardenvale 3185 Preston  3072
Bentleigh East 3165 Glen Huntly 3163 Princes Hill 3054
Black Rock 3193 Glen Iris 3146 Reservoir 3073
Braybrook 3019 Glenroy  3046 Richmond 3121
Brighton 3186  Gowabrae 3043 Ripponlea 3185
Brighton East 3187 Hadfield 3046 Sandringham 3191
Brunswick 3056 Hampton 3188 Seddon 3011
Brunswick East 3057 Hampton East 3188 South Melbourne 3205
Brunswick West 3055 Hawthorn 3122 South Wharf 3006
Bundoora 3083 Hawthorn East 3123 South Yarra 3141
Burnley 3121 Highett 3190 Southbank 3066
Camberwell 3124 Keilor East 3033 St Kilda 3182
Canterbury 3126 Kensignton 3031 St Kilda East 3183
Carlton  3053 Kew 3101 St Kilda West 3182
Carlton North 3054  Kew East 3102 Strathmore 3041
Carnegie 3163 Kingsbury 3083 Strathmore Heights 3041
Caulfield 3162 Kingsville 3012 Surrey Hills 3127
Caulfield East 3145 Kooyong 3144 Thornbury 3071
Caulfield North 3161 Macleod 3085 Toorak  3142
Caulfield South 3162 Maidstone 3012 Tottenham 3012
Cheltenham 3192 Malvern 3144 Travancore 3032
Clifton Hill 3068 Malvern East 3145 Tullamarine 3043
Coburg 3058 Maribyrnong 3032 West Footscray 3012
Coburg North 3058 McKinnon 3204 West Melbourne 3003
Collingwood 3066 Melbourne 3000 Windsor 3181
Cremorne 3121 Melbourne  3044 Yarraville 3013
Deepdene 3103 Middle Park 3206    
Docklands  3088      

Other metropolitan and regional areas will be monitored to determine the need for congestion reduction using the road occupation charge.

What’s an example of a situation where the road occupation charge might apply?

There are a number of situations in which the road occupation charge might apply.

In the case where a property developer needs to block off an arterial road lane during construction of an apartment building, for example, that developer would be required to pay the Road Occupation Charge. The road occupation charge would also apply to a company using an advertising sign on private land next to an arterial road if it needs to close a lane of traffic in order to change the advertising content or to a demolition company that needs to close a lane of traffic to safely raze a building.

These are examples only and there are other circumstances under which the road occupation charge might apply.

Who will need to pay the road occupation charge?

The charge will apply to private parties occupying arterial roads. 

What is a private party for the purpose of the road occupation charge?

A private party is a company or individual that wants to occupy an arterial road for private benefit.

This doesn’t include road occupations for MTIA projects such as level crossing removal.

If the occupation goes over two councils (i.e. the border between two council areas is within the occupation zone), does the charge apply? 

Yes, as long as the occupation affects an arterial road lane the charge will apply.  

Who is excluded from paying the road occupation charge?

Members of the public temporarily occupying a road while moving house or conducting renovations on their home will not have to pay the road occupation charge. Emergency services are also excluded from paying the charge.

What is an arterial road?

An arterial road is a road in Victoria for which the Department of Transport is the responsible road authority. These roads provide the principal routes for moving people and goods between major regions and population centres. Most other roads are either municipal roads, managed by local councils, or privately operated roads - for example, Eastlink and CityLink. 

You can find out what is and isn’t an arterial road here

Are private parties required to pay a charge for occupying a municipal road?

Councils may have an operating model or application process that could be applicable for private parties occupying a municipal road. We recommend that private parties contact the relevant council if they’re not sure about work they’re undertaking that affects a municipal road.

What does the road occupation charge cost?

The road occupation charge is between $173 and $252 per lane per day.

How is the road occupation charge calculated?

The road occupation charge is calculated based on these factors:

  • How many lanes are being occupied
  • How long the occupation will last for
  • The importance of the road
  • The value of the location to the community. 

In addition to what might be considered ‘standard’ vehicle lanes, the road occupation charge takes into consideration bicycle lanes and the area between a parking lane and road lane that is used by cyclists and motorcyclists. 

Are there other charges associated with the road occupation charge?

Private parties are also required to pay a compulsory bond of $10,000. This is an incentive to ensure the roads are restored to their original condition in the case that damage occurs during occupation.

Who pays the license fee and bond?

While the traffic management company will initially apply for the occupation on behalf of the private party, the license fee and bond will be paid by the private party responsible for the occupation.

Who is a party to the license? 

The private party responsible for the occupation is the party to the license.

If a private party needs to make an application that will be affected by the road occupation charge, when should they submit it? 

Applicants should allow 20 working days prior to start of works to process a standard application. 

How will the road occupation charge be monitored?

The Department of Transport will provide surveillance of road occupations to ensure compliance with the road occupation charge. 

How do we know the road occupation charge will help reduce congestion?

A trial of the road occupation charge took place from 1 June 2018 to 31 December 2018 in Melbourne’s inner north and east.

During the trial, 26 road occupations were identified in the trial area. The application of a road occupation charge during the trial resulted in a reduction of road occupation periods by an average of 75 per cent.

The recommendation from the trial was to roll out road occupation charges throughout inner-city Melbourne.

Are there similar schemes elsewhere around the world?

A similar model was introduced in June 2012 by Transport for London. The Transport for London lane rental scheme covers 56 per cent of the Transport for London Road Network. It was a daily charge introduced to encourage behaviour change and minimise highway occupation.

Legal note: VicRoads’ power to charge for the occupation of arterial roads exists under Schedule 5 clause 9(1) of the Road Management Act 2004.

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