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Media Release

12/10/2003

Developer greed sabotages transport interchange

Government asleep at wheel

Secret plans reveal the imminent destruction of a vital piece of Melbourne's public transport, passenger advocates said today.

The Public Transport Users Association branded as "overwhelmingly stupid" Melbourne Central's plans to force train users to detour through the shopping centre to reach Swanston Street trams.

Under the plan, which has not been publicised, commuters would be forced to detour through the middle of the shopping centre, and use two separate sets of escalators to reach the street, instead of the direct path and one escalator used currently.

"This is purely about greed", said PTUA president Daniel Bowen. "This is one of Melbourne's most popular train/tram interchanges. Tens of thousands transfer from trains onto Swanston Street trams every day, and rather than have people flow smoothly through to complete their trip, the shopping centre wants to grab their money on the way. No wonder they haven't told anybody about it."

In June the public transport operators launched Metlink, an initiative designed to promote different transport modes together as one system. Improved signage, particularly for interchange locations, is to be rolled out across the network. "This change undermines Metlink", said Mr Bowen. "By making people walk in a maze around the shopping centre to change from tram to train, it not only inconveniences people, it discourages them from using public transport.

"The government is quite rightly promoting public transport usage, yet they've allowed this retrograde step to occur. It never should have got planning approval."

Mr Bowen called on Transport Minister Batchelor to take action, and said it was not too late to reverse the decision. "So far the old entrance, which has served commuters for more than twenty years, is still open", he said, "and it should remain open."

Contacts:
PTUA Office 9650 7898


Page not found Page not found – Public Transport Users Association (Victoria, Australia)

Last Modified: 14 October 2003