The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has called on the State Government to fund the Doncaster tram extension so that the project could be completed simultaneously with the Doncaster Shoppingtown extension.
“Doncaster’s status as an activity centre in Melbourne 2030 is still under threat despite the beginnings of the Doncaster Shoppingtown expansion,” said PTUA Vice-President Alex Makin. “The Shoppingtown expansion needs to be complemented with fixed rail infrastructure, such as the tram extension, to spur further private sector development”.
While Westfield Shoppingtown is proceeding with its long awaited expansion, with completion due by late 2008, a lack of State Government infrastructure has meant that overall progress towards Doncaster Hill has been slow.
“The State Government cannot simply sit on its laurels and pretend everything is fine simply because Westfield is expanding”, said Mr. Makin. “Manningham is the only municipality within Melbourne that lacks any form of rail or tram access and as a result public transport usage is depressingly low”.
The PTUA has led the push for the 4km extension of tram 48, along Doncaster Road, from North Balwyn to Doncaster Shoppingtown to provide frequent public transport for Manningham and alleviate ongoing overcrowding of the Doncaster Park and Ride.
“Manningham Council can play its part and further its advocacy for the tram. The latest traffic study proposal must investigate a feasibility study for the tram extension”, said Mr Makin. “The extension would reinforce Doncaster Shoppingtown’s status as a transit hub and a centre of activity. The tram extension is consistent with State and Council policies and the desire to have it complete by late 2008 should simply be a ‘no-brainer'”, concluded Mr Makin.