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Media Release


Threat to Trams is Serious, Warn Users

The Public Transport Users Association has warned tram users that the proposal to remove trams from Bourke St Mall is serious and must not be ignored.

PTUA Secretary Vaughan Williams said that while the removal was patently ridiculous it was seriously proposed by a joint working party between the Melbourne City Council and the State Government.

"While it is tempting to hope that the proposal is too crazy to proceed, it is important that tram passengers don't take that risk," said Mr Williams.

"The PTUA will be campaigning on this issue and we will be seeking the support of passengers, businesses and government in protecting the mall. Bourke Street Mall is the premier retail precinct in Australia, partly because of the trams which deliver 60,000 passengers a day past the doors of the city's main department stores."

"Trams and pedestrians co-exist well in Bourke Street Mall - in the 25 years since the establishment of the mall not a single pedestrian fatality or serious injury has been reported."

"The proposal to divert the trams via Lonsdale Street would not only cost a fortune, it would add ten minutes to the travel time. This would mean Yarra Trams would either require additional trams and drivers to run the service - no doubt at public expense - or would use the diversion as an excuse to cut the service frequency. This would add insult to injury for passengers whose journey time would increase."

Mr Williams called upon Transport Minister Peter Batchelor to publicly repudiate the proposal.

"The Minister should be well aware that removing trams from the Mall would be nothing short of crazy. We call upon him to reassure passengers that this proposal will not proceed," concluded Mr Williams

PTUA Office 9650 7898

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Last Modified: 11 September 2001