Transport Plan: Little difference for most Melburnians

PTUA President Daniel Bowen’s 200 word response to the Victorian Transport Plan, for The Age:

Little difference for most Melburnians

TWO-AND-A-HALF years ago, the government issued Meeting Our Transport Challenges, its long-term vision for Melbourne’s transport system.

That document is now in tatters, replaced by the new transport plan. While some communities will welcome new and improved train services, and CBD commuters will see some relief from overcrowding (albeit at enormous cost), for most car-dependent Melburnians who live in bus-only suburbs and rarely travel into the CBD, this plan will make little difference, despite the vast amount of money to be spent.

Public transport is lacking in many areas but the plan includes funding and studies for more than 100 kilometres of new motorways in the misguided belief that these will relieve traffic congestion.

We had hopes that this plan would bring quality public transport to all of Melbourne, not just those lucky enough to live near tram, train and Smartbus routes. We had hopes that more Melburnians would finally get real transport choices, so they could leave their cars at home. On these points, this plan, like its predecessor, is a failure.

Daniel Bowen is president of Public Transport Users Association.

The Age, 9/12/2008

[The version published by The Age was slightly modified.]