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Media Release


Tram Stops Under Threat: New SuperStops designed without passengers in mind

The Public Transport Users Association has condemned plans to close busy tram stops in the city centre unveiled by Yarra Trams and the Melbourne City Council at a public forum last night.

PTUA Secretary Vaughan Williams said that the proposal would leave tram passengers worse off by significantly increasing door-to-door travel times.

"If tram stops are closed, people will have to walk further to get to their destination," said Mr Williams. "The extra walking time will swamp any time that the trams might save, and the trams will need to spend more time boarding more passengers at the remaining stops."

Yarra Trams announced their desire to reduce the number of stops in Collins Street to six from the present nine. It is not clear at this stage exactly which stops will be removed, but from last night's meeting it appears that the most likely candidates are King Street, Queen Street and either Russell or Exhibition Street.

"Trams provide a valuable link along Collins Street, providing easy travel between the eastern and western ends of the city. Melbourne is one of few cities in the world to enjoy such a convenient service, and visitors frequently comment on how convenient it is to get around the city by tram. The ease of access is critically dependent on having a stop at each intersection along the city grid, which ensures maximum accessibility. It would be nothing short of crazy to interfere with this pattern, which has operated successfully for over a century."

Mr Williams said that although the PTUA welcomed Yarra Trams commitment to improve facilities at stops, particularly the raised platforms and low floor trams which will speed up boarding, some of the proposed new stops had been poorly designed and could not be supported in their current form.

"The stop at the corner of Collins and Spring Streets has been designed without the needs of pedestrians and tram passengers in mind (see diagram). The right turn lane for cars shows clearly where the priority lies - the stop has been moved back from the intersection and worse, the only way to exit the stop is at its western extreme even further back from the intersection. This is particularly unsatisfactory given that this stop is the interchange point to Parliament Station."

Mr Williams called on Transport Minister Peter Batchelor to reject any proposals for the removal of tram stops from Collins Street. "The government needs to make sure that the tram system is protected and improved. If new infrastructure is to be built, it needs to be built for the convenience of passengers, not for the convenience of motorists and tram operators. Our tram system brings hundreds of thousands of people to the city every day, and should be given the priority it deserves," concluded Mr Williams

PTUA Office 9650 7898

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Last Modified: 08 August 2001