Understanding the difference between VicRoads and Council roads

Published on 11 June 2024


In an effort to provide clarity to the public regarding the management and responsibilities of different types of roads, West Wimmera Shire Council is pleased to offer an explanation on the distinction between VicRoads arterial roads and Council local roads.

This differentiation is crucial for residents to understand who to contact for various road-related issues and to ensure efficient management and maintenance of our transportation infrastructure.

Council manages and maintains 2,720 kilometres of its own local roads, which is almost the equivalent of driving from Edenhope / Kaniva to Perth or Cairns.

Arterial roads (managed by VicRoads)

Arterial roads are the major highways and primary roads that facilitate the movement of high volumes of traffic across and between regions.

These roads are crucial for connecting towns, cities, and regions, and they play a key role in supporting economic activity by enabling the efficient transport of goods and people. Key characteristics of arterial roads include:

  • Higher traffic volumes: Arterial roads are designed to accommodate a large number of vehicles, including heavy trucks and public transport.
  • Regional connectivity: These roads often span long distances and connect multiple municipalities, regions, and sometimes states.
  • Higher speed limits: Typically, arterial roads have higher speed limits compared to local roads to facilitate faster movement of traffic
  • Managed by VicRoads: The state government agency VicRoads is responsible for the construction, maintenance, and management of arterial roads. This includes major highways such as the Western Highway and the Wimmera Highway.

Council maintenance contracts: West Wimmera Shire Council may perform some maintenance on arterial roads under contracts with VicRoads.

This ensures that local expertise is utilised for road maintenance while adhering to the standards and budgets set by VicRoads.

Funding and condition: It is important to note that VicRoads, not the Council, is responsible for the funding and upkeep of arterial roads.

The deteriorating condition of some VicRoads arterial roads is due to ongoing inadequate funding of these crucial assets, which falls under the purview of the state government. 

Council is not responsible for these conditions. See image below of all the VicRoads arterial roads in the shire.

Map of VicRoads roads.png

Road nomenclature: VicRoads often uses an A, B, and C classification system for arterial roads, helping to easily identify their importance and connectivity.

These classifications are often included on road signs and GPS maps making it easier to determine if you are travelling on a VicRoads Road.

  • A Roads: Major arterial routes that connect significant destinations and support high traffic volumes.
  • B Roads: Important regional connectors that handle moderate traffic and link towns to A roads.
  • C Roads: Local connectors that support lower traffic volumes, linking smaller communities to the broader arterial network.

Within the West Wimmera Shire Council area, the following roads are VicRoads roads:

  • Western Highway                                             (A8)
  • Wimmera Highway                                           (B240)
  • Wombelano Road                                            (C205)
  • Nhill – Harrow Road                                         (C206)
  • Casterton – Edenhope Road                            (C207)
  • Coleraine – Edenhope Road                            (C208)
  • Kaniva – Edenhope Road                                (C208)
  • Casterton - Apsley Road                                     (C211)
  • Edenhope – Penola Road                                    (C212)
  • Natimuk – Frances Road                                     (C213)
  • Serviceton North – Telopea Downs Road             (C226)

Residents can contact VicRoads for issues related to:

  • Roadworks and construction on arterial roads
  • Traffic signal operations on these roads
  • Major road repairs and maintenance
  • Road safety improvements and upgrades

    Bulls and Blacks Road 1.JPG  

Local roads (managed by West Wimmera Shire Council)

Local roads are the streets and minor roads that primarily serve residential neighbourhoods, local businesses, and community areas.

These roads are essential for providing access to homes, schools, local shops, and other community facilities. Key characteristics of local roads include:

  • Lower traffic volume: Local roads are designed to handle lighter traffic compared to arterial roads, focusing on local access rather than through-traffic.
  • Local connectivity: These roads typically connect residential areas, local amenities, and community services within a municipality.
  • Lower speed limits: Speed limits on local roads are generally lower to ensure safety for pedestrians, cyclists, and local traffic.

West Wimmera Shire Council is responsible for the construction, maintenance, and management of local roads.

This includes pavement repairs, shoulder maintenance, drainage maintenance, street lighting, footpath maintenance, and local traffic management.

Road Management Act 2004: Council roads are managed in accordance with the requirements of the Road Management Act 2004, which provides a framework for the management and maintenance of local roads to ensure they are safe and efficient for public use.

Council has an adopted Road Management Plan which is available on its website and is reviewed every four years.

Residents can contact council for issues related to:

  • Pothole repairs and minor road maintenance
  • Street cleaning and waste management on local roads
  • Gravel road maintenance
  • Traffic signage and visibility issues.

Understanding the distinction between arterial and local roads helps ensure that residents contact the appropriate authorities for their road-related concerns, facilitating quicker and more effective responses to issues.

For more information, please visit the VicRoads website https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au

or the West Wimmera Shire Council at https://www.westwimmera.vic.gov.au



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