As reported in The Age, the recent State Budget has revealed that the State Government to failing to progress towards the target of achieving 20% public transport modal share by the 2020:
A KEY commitment to boost public transport has been all but abandoned by the State Government.
As part of its environmental credentials, and promotion of public transport, the Bracks Government had set a goal of 20 per cent of all trips taken in Melbourne to be made by public transport by 2020.
But yesterday a spokeswoman for Transport Minister Peter Batchelor would not say the Government remained committed to achieving the target, describing the goal as “ambitious”.
Unfortunately Peter Batchelor in his current role as Minister for Transport has shown complete ineptitude towards Melbourne’s public transport system with the Minister delivering nothing but cost blowouts, project delays and a continuing litany of broken promises.
The target would seem impossible to reach on present trends.
Environment Victoria spokeswoman Louise Sales said the Government’s own figures showed that public transport growth seemed to be declining.
“By abandoning the 2020 target, the Government is condemning Melburnians to a future of increased congestion, dangerous greenhouse gas emissions and petrol price pain,” Ms Sales said.
The Public Transport Users Association also echoed the call, saying increased investment into rail extensions and a reduction in road funding was needed if there was to be any hope of meeting the aim.
With no major train or tram extensions planned within the next decade it is apparent that the Bracks Government through Transport Minister Peter Batchelor is condemning Melbourne and in particular the outer suburbs to continued financial hardship and worsening traffic congestion.
The Government hopes its recent commitment to increase times and frequencies on local bus routes will help snare a great share for public transport.
But the users association labelled the announcement about improvements on 25 bus routes as an election stunt. Half the improvements are to be on services in marginal seats.
Contrary to promises made when in Opposition, it is now clear that the Bracks Government in intent on condemning Melbourne to a future of rising petrol prices, increased financial hardship and worsening traffic congestion, all due to a lack of vision in regard to Melbourne’s public transport system.