The West Gate bridge carries 160,000 vehicles a day (”Trucks test structure of West Gate”, 18/3), but that is only a modest 15 per cent increase on 10 years ago, when it carried 140,000. Then, as now, traffic was forecast to increase by some staggering amount over the next decade.
In fact, traffic finds its own level depending on available road space. In 2003 the ”second Yarra crossing” had just opened in the form of the Bolte Bridge. Traffic has simply increased through the West Gate-Monash corridor to match the additional road space. The bridge did not ease congestion at all.
About 85 per cent of our traffic problem is cars, so the answer is to turn some car trips into public transport, walking or cycling trips. We shouldn’t ignore the potential for rail freight, either.
Tony Morton, Public Transport Users Association