Commuters save 15 minutes
The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has renewed calls for bus lanes to be installed on Springvale Road in each direction, to coincide with the opening of Eastlink. With petrol prices widely expected to reach two dollars a litre by 2009, public transport improvements are essential.
“It is vital that these bus lanes are installed to help reduce our dependence on car travel,” said Jeremy Lunn, the PTUA’s Outer-East Convenor. “Benefits from providing the bus lanes will be wide-reaching for the local community, the environment and the economy.”
It is predicted that the opening of Eastlink will result in a 30% fall in traffic on Springvale Road, equivalent to one lane in each direction. Mr Lunn said that installing bus lanes immediately after the opening of Eastlink, would take advantage of the spare road capacity to help buses consolidate their role in the public transport system.
The proposed bus lanes will stretch 20km from Mitcham Road, Donvale to Cheltenham Road in Keysborough, greatly improving travel times on the 888/889 SmartBus service and other routes which use Springvale Road. It is expected that commuters would save 15 minutes from Nunawading to Springvale.
“The bus lanes will shorten public transport travel times in the outer east, making buses competitive with car travel, while also curbing congestion on Springvale Road. Without the bus lanes, we can expect traffic congestion to return to the current levels or worse.”
Mr Lunn also slammed both Monash Council and the RACV for opposing the bus lanes.
“By opposing the bus lanes, they are thumbing their noses at commuters in the outer east. Without these dedicated lanes, ever-increasing congestion will mean that bus passengers will face greater delays in future.”
At certain times, the bus lanes could also double as transit lanes for cars carrying three or more passengers.
Mr Lunn said that it should also be possible to address the concerns of traders, who have also shown opposition to the bus lanes.
“The bus lanes can easily go around any car parking spaces, while traders will appreciate the additional business that bus passengers will bring.”
With buses sped up, it will be possible to run more frequent bus services using the same number of vehicles and bus drivers.
“This means that taxpayers money won’t be wasted on buses that are stuck in traffic.”