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Media Release

11/04/2005

Tram Stop Decision Imminent

Alternative Proposal to be Considered by Council

The Melbourne City Council Planning and Environment Committee will consider a proposal to close three CBD tram stops at its meeting on Tuesday 12 April at 7:30pm.

Two proposals are circulating within the council, both of which would achieve a three minute time saving for Collins Street trams and provide three additional 'superstops' to improve disability access.

The original Yarra Trams proposal, backed by the council's road engineers, recommends that the time saving be achieved by closing three stops in Collins Street. It has been opposed by business and community groups who liken it to the hospital in an episode of the TV series 'Yes Minister' - praised as the most efficient in Britain because it doesn't have to bother with treating actual patients.

An alternative proposal due to Cr Fraser Brindley would achieve the same time saving without removing stops, by instead introducing active traffic signal priority at King Street and changing cycle times at other intersections from 90 to 60 seconds.

Both the original proposal and Cr Brindley's alternative involve the construction of three additional superstops, at William Street, Elizabeth Street and Exhibition Street. However, under Cr Brindley's proposal the superstops would be located right at the intersections, to minimise walking time from other parts of the CBD. The original proposal places two of the stops at mid-block locations, severing links with other tram and bus routes.

The Public Transport Users Association and other groups have thrown their weight behind Cr Brindley's alternative. "This is about as close to a win-win proposal as one could imagine in this situation," said PTUA Secretary Tony Morton. "Compared with the original proposal it's far better for tram passengers, pedestrians and traders, achieves the same good result for the operator and the disabled community, and leaves motorists hardly any worse off. The council would be crazy not to support it, particularly given all they've said about supporting sustainable transport."

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

Contacts:
PTUA Office 9650 7898


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Last Modified: 11 April 2005