Tonight I was invited to speak at a Transport Forum organised by candidates from the Liberal Party covering the electorates of Carrum, Bentleigh, Mordialloc, Clayton and Frankston in Melbourne’s south east.
My presentation covered the failings of the Bracks Government’s Transport and Liveability Statement and the ramifications this holds for Melbourne’s south east. People living in suburbs located beyond the tram and train network are simply being treated as second class citizens that must make do with bus services that fail to operate to the same level of service provided by Melbourne’s tram network.
Bus services across Melbourne require urgent reform so that all main roads throughout Melbourne are provided with a level of service and frequency that matches the tram network, frequency improvements also make it easier to ensure coordination with bus and train services.
Ultimately people cannot use public transport if no services are readily available. Melbourne’s outer suburbs and the south east deserve a level of service that operates at a 15 minute service frequency and through to midnight seven days a week.
With rising petrol prices the Victorian Opposition has an opportunity to deliver real public transport improvements such as reforming the bus network so that it operates as a coordinated component of Melbourne’s public transport system and not just as a collection of isolated routes.
The Bracks Government still has the opportunity to honour its past election promises such as the previously made pledge to deliver more express and off-peak services on the Frankston line. Unfortunately the Bracks Government has so far chosen to use each subsequent transport plan as a way of avoiding real improvements and reneging on previous commitments.
Melbourne’s south east is demanding better public transport and it is imperative for the financial and economic security of Melbourne that an alternative to car dependence is finally delivered.