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Media Release

23/05/2005

Public Funeral 23rd May 2005 12:30PM

Corner Russell and Collins Streets, Melbourne

An unusual alliance of retailer and tram user groups including the Collins Street Precinct Association, the Public Transport Users Association, Alexandra and Athenaeum Clubs and ARPA Over 50s at lunchtime today will hold a public funeral for a dying tram stop at the corner of Collins and Russell Streets. After a brief service, traders, passengers and elderly citizens' groups will form a cortege in Collins Street to transport the remains to the Minister for Transport at Parliament House.

The demise of Tram Stop 7, together with 3 others of its Collins Street family, after 118 years of faithful service, is a result of extravagant plans from Yarra Trams and traffic engineers, at great cost to the taxpayer, to speed the tram trip along Collins Street by removing stops and replacing a few of them with very expensive design, neglecting the fact that the trams will be delayed by traffic lights at intersections anyway.

Unfortunately there will be no priority for trams on Collins Street. Instead of addressing the traffic issues, the Melbourne City Council and Yarra Trams see the removal of passenger stops as the only solution to speed up trams. This means trams will continue to wait at red lights, but no one will be able to get on or off. With more stop removals planned for St Kilda Road, Victoria Parade, Flinders Street and Spencer Street, the future for our tram system is indeed bleak.

This is despite an alternative, less costly proposal to speed up trams and provide disability access that would retain all stops in their current locations, replace at least three and up to six stops with modestly designed platform stops and make changes to traffic light sequences to reduce waiting times at red lights.

Collins Street is only one of the first to suffer the demise of stops. Also made public are plans to eliminate more in Flinders Street, Victoria Parade and Cotham Road. Further losses are expected in other streets as the traffic engineers' disease sweeps across the metropolitan area.

It is only the State Government that now has the power to perform a resurrection so the groups call on the Minister for Transport, Peter Batchelor, to support the alternative tram plan and retain tram stops at every intersection.

RIP Tram Stop 7, Route 109, 1886-2005 (282 KB, PDF)

Contacts:
PTUA Office 9650 7898


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Last Modified: 23 May 2005