The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has welcomed the government’s commitment of funding to the South Morang rail extension.
PTUA president Daniel Bowen said it was vital that outer-suburban areas were provided with fast, frequent, high-capacity public transport services, to relieve traffic congestion and take the pressure off household budgets.
“Residents of South Morang will welcome their new rail service, giving them an option of getting off the roads for more of their trips, saving money on fuel and reducing their emissions.”
Mr Bowen called on the government to commit to further extending the line once the South Morang station was open. “This area is expanding rapidly. We hope to see rail services go further, to Mernda, closer to the Urban Growth Boundary, with frequent connecting bus services to ensure that people who don’t live within walking distance to the trains are still able to use them without having to drive.”
The PTUA remains concerned about inflated costings on rail projects, which have increased markedly in recent years in Victoria. Mr Bowen said the government needed to ensure rail extensions remained cost-effective, and that it was vital that frequent high-capacity rail services be extended along other corridors, including Sunbury, Melton, Doncaster, Rowville and Cranbourne East, with a network of frequent trams and buses filling in the gaps.
“This is a very welcome announcement. We all know that more trains means less traffic, and we hope the government will continue to commit to further extending high quality public transport to all of Melbourne”, concluded Mr Bowen.
* * *
- The South Morang rail extension was originally promised by Labor in 1999.
- Extension of rail to South Morang and Mernda has long been supported by the PTUA, and along with frequent connecting bus services, forms part of the PTUA’s “Every 10 Minutes to Everywhere” plan. http://www.ptua.org.au/campaigns/every10minutes/