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Knox Leader: Lobby group renews call

By September 13, 20057 Comments

The Knox Leader has reported on the renewed calls for the completion of the Knox tram issued by the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA):

A PUBLIC transport lobby group has again called on the State Government to fund a tram extension to Knox City shopping centre.

Public Transport Users’ Association spokesman Alex Makin said a tram line “must soon replace” the bus connection from the terminus at Vermont South.

“Transfers between buses and trams, no matter how seamless, are still physically inconvenient and complicated, particularly for elderly people, those with disabilities and small children,” Mr Makin said. “We need a constant (tram) link between Knox and Whitehorse if a tram line was built, it would enable the buses to be freed up for elsewhere in Knox.

Melbourne 2030 the State Government’s overarching Planning policy, states that The current project to extend the Burwood tram to Knox City is an example of what can be done, yet through failing to provide a timeline for the full completion of the Knox tram extension the very notion of the strategic direction provided by Melbourne 2030 is jeopardised.

Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder said the State Government should honour its election promise to provide the tram extension. He could not confirm or deny if a Liberal Government would implement the extension.

But Bayswater state Labor MP Peter Lockwood said the Burwood Highway extension, which he estimated would cost about $86 million, plus inflation, to build, was not presently needed as the bus link was doing “a good job”.

The estimated cost of $86 million, as quoted by Mr. Peter Lockwood for the full Knox tram extension is also questionable. Yarra Trams estimates that it costs roughly $3 million per kilometre for the construction of new track and overhead wiring and while this figure does exclude new stops and related road works, the extension of approximately four kilometres is more likely to be around $40 rather than $85 million.

However, Mr Makin said the Government was “more likely looking at around $40 million” for the project.

The approximately three kilometre extension from East Burwood to Vermont South cost $42.6 million, including the bus/tram interchange and associated landscaping it is therefore questionable that the missing link in this tram extension would cost $86 million.

Alex Makin

Alex Makin

Alex Makin is a councillor for the Mullum Ward in the City of Maroondah. Alex has been a councillor since 2005, representing ratepayers, businesses, community groups and residents. I aim to continue making a difference and welcome any thoughts you may have in regard to life, community and business in Maroondah. Phone: (03) 9870 8202 or 0408 311 645 Email: alex@alexmakin.com.au

7 Comments

  • Simon Atkinson says:

    I was in Melbourne at a disability conference from 22nd of November 2008 to Friday 30th of November 2008 with 5 others. I stayed on till 3rd of December. I am from Christchurch in New Zealand.
    2nd of December I caught the tram to Vermont South from Warrigal road. WHAT a route. It is an amazing route and the lenght of it blows me away it seems to go on forever. It was at nightime. I hear about this preposed extention to Knox City. I would LOVE to see this happen. When this gets done and completed it will make the route even MORE exciting. Lets hope this one will get done in the near future.
    Melbourne’s tramway network is awsum and a great asset to have. From Simon Atkinson

  • Alex Makin says:

    Hello Simon,

    Thank you for your comments and for visiting my website. I certainly agree that the tram extension is much needed as it will link Knox City with the rest of Melbourne.

    I hope you enjoyed the conference and your time in Melbourne.

    Thanks,

    Alex

  • Lary says:

    Our household has been affected by bad town planning decisions. Yarra City Council is hiding behind melbourne 2030 to justify it poor planning decisions. Overcrowding, noise, lack of parking controls, undesirable neighbours are just a few issues we have to thank our Yarra City town planners for.

    During a recent IDAC meeting for a planning application for a former Yarra City Councillor the committee unanimously carried the motion to approve a permit for a four storey apartment block. There is nothing new about apartment blocks in the North Fitzroy street that the application was proposed for. However a large group of objectors did want Yarra City Council to apply some restrictions to the permit, namely to reduce the number of levels from four to three, which prior to this application, was the maximum number of floor levels permitted in this compact street. The objectors also wanted the committee to address issues of potential parking stress which was considered an issue by the objectors. Steve Jolly (Stephen Jolly) was first to move that Paul D’Agostino’s permit be approved. The Other Yarra councillors followed

  • Alex Makin says:

    Lary,

    I am not aware of the specifics about how the City of Yarra determines planning decisions, but issues such as overlooking and overshadowing are taken into account when assessing planning applications for Maroondah.

    My council ward encompasses, the Ringwood Central Activity District, which through Melbourne 2030 is earmarked for higher density development.

    In regard to these planning applications I will often call a planning meeting to ensure that objectors and applicants are able to express their views on the application and to reinforce any concerns they have.

    Overlooking and a lack of privacy are often cited as concerns and should the application be approved, solutions such as screening are generally made a condition of the permit.

    Thanks,

    Alex

  • Peter Lockwood says:

    Alex- the costings, albeit now 5 years old, were based on the cost of the project from Blackburn Rd to Vermont South. This cost $42.6m as you have stated. This includes running costs for 10 years. That was $42.6m for 3km. The nearly 6K distance from Vermont South to Knox City would be about double the cost, hence the $86m cost. Don’t forget the cost of a new interchange as well. Btw, 42.6 divided by 3 is 14.2 per kilometre, not 3.

  • Alex Makin says:

    Peter, thank you for the clarifications with the costs for the project. I left the PTUA committee of management in 2008, but I understand that this is a project that Knox City Council is keen on advancing.

    The Eastern Transport Coalition is also campaigning strongly on public transport issues in Eastern Melbourne, Mick van de Vreede is Knox’s representative and Michael Macdonald is Maroondah’s representative.

    Congratulations on securing pre-selection for the seat of Bayswater and good to hear from you. Public transport was always an issue your were heavily interested in as the Member for Bayswater, so I do look forward to discussing Maroondah’s public transport priorities with you.

    Thanks,

    Alex

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