The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has warned that a modified bus interchange will not be enough to cater for expansion of the Chadstone shopping centre, as it would be only a partial solution. It says bus services themselves need significant upgrades, along with the extension of train and tram services into the centre.
“It’s going to take a lot more than a change to the bus interchange to attract people out of their cars and onto public transport. If that is
the only improvement to public transport, permanent traffic jams can be expected around Chadstone,” PTUA outer east convenor Jeremy Lunn said.
“To really make a difference, bus services need a major upgrade. In fact, these upgrades are needed now to cope with current traffic volumes around Chadstone.”
The PTUA has called for buses every ten minutes on main bus routes serving Chadstone and every 20 minutes on all other routes. It says
buses must operate at these service levels from 6am to midnight, seven days-a-week.
“Expanding the shopping centre shouldn’t be contemplated until such service levels are in place. There’s crowding on buses right now, and that must be rectified first,” Mr Lunn said.
“We reported crowding on buses at Chadstone nearly two years ago, but we’re still waiting for improvements to the 903 Smartbus service. The lack of any announcement about overcoming this problem is a serious concern for passengers.”
Mr Lunn also noted that a consolidated bus interchange would not work without dedicated bus lanes on roads in and around Chadstone.
“Dedicated bus lanes must be installed on Middle Road, leading all the way to Princes Highway, via the bus interchange. Buses already face significant delays and disruptions due to being stuck in traffic at Chadstone,” he said.
“Ultimately the only way to make a significant impact on congestion around Chadstone is to provide a network of fast, frequent, reliable
bus, train or tram services to the centre, so that more people can leave their cars at home.”