Call to scrap opposition’s car dependent transport policies

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has challenged the Victorian Liberal Party to develop new transport policies to ensure sustainable relief against mounting petrol prices.

“The Liberal Party must revise its current transport commitments and drop nonsensical ideas such as half tolls on EastLink and additional road tunnels”, PTUA spokesman Alex Makin said. “It is an undeniable fact that petrol prices will continue to increase and it is clear that people desperately need and want an alternative to car dependence”.

“Melbourne needs a government with a vision to deliver improved public transport and hence ensure the future economic prosperity of the city”, Mr. Makin said. “The fact is that as petrol prices increase households have less disposable income for other purchases thus threatening the viability of the strong retail precincts that exist in suburbs such as Ringwood, Knox or Frankston”.

With petrol prices already exceeding earlier predictions of $1.30 per litre and transport being one of the largest items of household expenditure (averaging 15.2%) it is increasingly apparent that rising petrol prices are disproportionately affecting those people who do not have an alternative to car travel. The PTUA’s view is supported by a report published by Griffith University entitled Oil Vulnerability in the Australian City.

The construction of the Doncaster and Rowville train lines, the South Morang rail extension, the Knox and Doncaster Road tram extensions and a vastly improved bus network to ensure frequent and readily available services would cost less than $1 billion, far less than estimates for current road projects.

“The Bracks government has broken or radically diminished many of its public transport promises. It is therefore up to the Opposition to provide a genuine alternative and hence embrace the need for vastly improved public transport. The ‘no tolls’ policy and continued road building has the potential to neglect public transport and hence fail to secure the future social and economic prosperity of Melbourne and its outer suburbs”, Mr. Makin concluded.

About the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA):
Founded in 1976, the PTUA is the recognised consumer organisation representing passengers
of public transport. The PTUA is a non-profit, voluntary organisation with no political
affiliation, which lobbies governments and public transport authorities in the interest
of all users of public transport.

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