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Public Transport Users Association Submission to Planning and Environment Committee 'Think Tram' Proposal - Collins Street


The PTUA opposes the proposal to remove three tram stops in Collins Street and supports the alternative proposal by Cr Fraser Brindley:

  • to construct three tram 'superstops' at the intersections with William Street, Elizabeth Street and Exhibition Street;
  • to retain the existing safety zones at King Street, Queen Street and Russell Street;
  • to introduce Active Tram Priority at the King Street intersection; and
  • to reduce signal cycle times from 90 to 60 seconds on Collins Street between William and Spring Streets.

The expected time saving from this package of measures is three minutes, the same as for the original Yarra Trams proposal, and is achieved with no loss of tram stops. It achieves the same outcome for the operator and the disabled community, a vastly superior outcome for tram passengers, pedestrians and traders, and should have a minimal effect on car access into the Central Business District.

Council is to consider a traffic engineering report which recommends in favour of the original Yarra Trams proposal after considering a range of alternatives. We believe this recommendation to be flawed for two reasons:

  • The assessment criteria are based on expected time saving for trams, impact on pedestrians and impact on vehicular traffic flow, but not impact on tram passengers whose stops may be removed. The report is unbalanced in that it goes to great length to point out possible inconvenience to motorists, but fails to consider the very serious inconvenience to tram passengers pointed out by the PTUA in its submission to the March meeting of this Committee and in consultation with the traffic engineers. It also runs contrary to the council's own Sustainable City objectives by giving more weight to motorists than to public transport users.
  • Although the original Yarra Trams proposal is really a combination of measures (superstop construction plus tram stop removal), the report does not consider any of the proposed alternatives in combination. Thus, it fails to consider options such as the alternative proposal above and does not take them into account in its conclusion.

The only potential negative impact of the alternative proposal is a partial loss of synchronisation of signals on Russell and Exhibition Streets. This impact should not be overestimated, given that these streets (unlike King Street) are not intended as bypass routes for through traffic, and that much of the traffic at the bottom end of these streets originates from turning movements from Collins Street and Flinders Lane.

We urge Council to demonstrate its support for sustainable transport by accepting the alternative proposal, and achieve superior time savings and disability access without losing tram stops.

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Last Modified: 12 April 2005