A legacy of poor decisions

A legacy of poor decisions
November 22, 2012

JOHN Legge (“Transport planning off rails”, Comment, 21/11) hits the nail on the head when it comes to Melbourne’s transport planning failures. Our creaking train system and barely usable bus services are the legacy of decades of secretive pseudo-planning at all levels of government and in the private sector, all failing to take public transport seriously. Public Transport Victoria was supposed to change the culture, but the government has fallen into the mistake of putting in new signs and legal entities but not putting in new people to match. We have plenty of reassuring “wait and see” messages from Minister Terry Mulder, yet we have heard the same from transport ministers of all political stripes for 30 years.

Lest anyone be spooked by the cost of putting a tram line down every arterial road, we would stress this is not necessary. The proposed Doncaster and Rowville lines put most homes within five kilometres or so of a train line, leaving only short connecting journeys that can be served at reasonable cost with a frequent, direct and well-connected bus network. East Werribee ought to be demonstrating this kind of network thinking, rather than just adding more cars.

— Tony Morton, Public Transport Users Association, Melbourne — published in The Age, 22/11/2012

Freeway Future Bottleneck

The government would like all Point Cook residents to feel great about the new freeway entrance they’re getting at Sneydes Road. We don’t believe this enthusiasm is quite so widely shared.

Within a few years, Sneydes Road and the interchange will be carrying traffic from the 20,000 residents in the brand new suburb adjacent (Herald Sun, Nov 20). This will just recreate the situation that now exists at Laverton and at Palmers Road, unless something is done to fix the alternatives.

Suburban traffic gridlock is inevitable as long as bus services only run every 40 minutes, follow indirect routes and miss the “connecting” train by minutes. In the eastern suburbs Smartbuses run every 10-15 minutes and travel straight to the railway station.

— Tony Morton, Public Transport Users Association, Melbourne — published in the Herald Sun, 21/11/2012