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Transport Plan a ‘disgrace’ to the Outer East

The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has slammed John Brumby’s Transport Plan for failing to provide real transport solutions in Melbourne’s outer east. Instead the plan seeks to bail out Eastlink, while encouraging outer east residents to travel by car rather than public transport.

“John Brumby has once again failed to deliver a sustainable future for Melbourne’s outer east,” said Jeremy Lunn, the PTUA’s Outer East convenor. “This plan is about more roads, a few tokenistic gestures for public transport and even less for the outer east. It’s a return to the Kennett era, only far worse.”

All up the plan contains 122km of motorways and only 36km of railways, including a railway line where nobody presently lives. “The residents of Doncaster and Rowville will be extremely disappointed that their
railway lines have been completely forgotten,” Mr Lunn said.

Mr Lunn also accused the Brumby Government of bailing out Eastlink, by pouring $750 million of taxpayers’ money into a new Mornington Peninsula motorway, feeding into the southern end of Eastlink.

“That kind of money could easily fund a railway line to Rowville, electification to Baxter and many other public transport initiatives, such as upgrading bus services.”

Mr Lunn also warned that outer east commuters will pay increased public transport fares to fund an inner city rail tunnel that will offer them no benefit.

“Any claims from the Brumby Government that this plan will deliver a more sustainable future are completely hogwash. The increase in public transport fares and the construction of more roads will only drive people out of trains and into their cars.”

According to Mr Lunn, a transport plan of this scale should have included:

  • Construction of railway lines to Rowville and Doncaster
  • Duplication of single track sections on the Belgrave and Lilydale lines
  • Upgrade of off-peak daytime, evening and weekend train services on Belgrave, Lilydale, Glen Waverley and Alamein lines to operate at least every ten minutes
  • Rollout of bus services on all main roads in Melbourne, operating every ten minutes
  • Completion of ‘Track Down’ grade separation project, including the three Mitcham Road, Rooks Road and Springvale Road level crossings
  • Bus priority at all traffic lights in the eastern suburbs
  • Extension of tram route 48 to Doncaster Shoppingtown
  • Extension of tram route 75 to Knox City
  • Duplication of single track sections between Dandenong and Cranbourne East

“John Brumby needs to get a grip on reality and to take note that the real ‘missing link’ is public transport,” Mr Lunn concluded.

See also: Eastlink always was the wrong solution (4/12/2008)