The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) said today that the Doncaster Hill project was destined for failure without a proper rail transport link and renewed calls for the immediate extension of tram 48 to Doncaster.
“There’s no chance of a successful Doncaster Hill without a tram connecting to the city and nearby suburbs,” said PTUA spokesman and Doncaster resident Christopher Trikilis. “All the plans show a boulevard streetscape but there is no boulevard for people to enjoy if it is jammed full of traffic all day and night creating an unhealthy environment for all”.
Recent reports (Manningham Leader, 05/12) that the Hill could become a leader in environmentally-sound practice and construction would be countered by transport pollution problems caused by excessive, forced car use both by locals and visitors to the Hill. Transport emissions are one of the highest contributors to household greenhouse emissions.
“Any plans for ‘green’ credentials for the hill are thrown out the window without providing an adequate, environmentally-friendly public transport option such as the tram along Doncaster Road. Poor transport options, inadequate buses and forced car dependency in Manningham will only cause gridlock and pollution problems for the Hill,” Mr. Trikilis said.
The 4.5km extension of the tram along Doncaster Road, from North Balwyn to Doncaster Shoppingtown is not only achievable and affordable ($35m) but has considerable community support. Manningham also continues to be the only municipality in metropolitan Melbourne without any form of rail access.
“Manningham continues to have one of the highest car ownership rates in the country due to inadequate transport options. We must right the wrong immediately, and for the sake of the people of Manningham and the future of the Hill, the Brumby Government must commit to bringing the tram to Doncaster,” concluded Mr. Trikilis.