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Media Release

09/04/2001

Eastern Freeway commuters to suffer: Scoresby will increase road congestion

The billion-dollar Scoresby Freeway in Melbourne's outer east will worsen congestion on the Eastern Freeway, the Public Transport Users Assocation has claimed.

PTUA Secretary Vaughan Williams said that the Scoresby Freeway would channel city-bound traffic from Knox and Waverley away from City Link and onto the Eastern Freeway, worsening congestion for commuters from Nunawading and Ringwood and flooding the inner city with more cars.

"The Kennett government's Environment Effects Statement found that the Scoresby Freeway would draw 2000 trucks a day away from City Link and onto the Eastern Freeway. These trucks will then plough their way through Heidelberg on their way to the Hume Highway," said Mr Williams. "In addition, tens of thousands of cars would use the Scoresby Freeway to divert to the Eastern Freeway in order to avoid City Link tolls. The net result will be drastically increased congestion on the freeway itself, and lengthening of the traffic queue at the city end of the freeway - which already stretches as far back as Burke Road."

Mr Williams said that commuters along the whole Eastern and Scoresby corridors could be provided with first rate public transport for a fraction of the cost of the two freeway extensions.

"A third track on the Ringwood line - something Labor promised before last year's election - would cost less than 1% of the cost of the Freeway and would enable more express trains. Bus routes in the area could be simplified, making them more direct and easier to understand, and frequencies could be boosted to match trains. Currently, most buses don't run at all after 7pm or on Sundays and frequencies at other times are dreadful."

"The outer east of Melbourne has some of the worst public transport service levels in Australia. People who don't live near stations have no choice but to use their car for everything. Melbourne already has an extensive road network - it's time we had the public transport to match it," concluded Mr Williams

Contacts:
PTUA Office 9650 7898

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Last Modified: 09 April 2001