The Eastern Transport Coalition has made a submission to the East-West needs Review calling on the State Government to fix Melbourne’s capacity and congestion issues by expanding the public transport network.Councillor Alex Makin represents Maroondah City Council on the Eastern Transport Coalition and says the Coalition is calling on the State Government to fix Melbourne’s capacity and congestion issues by expanding the public transport network.
“The Eastern Transport Coalition’s submission points out the weaknesses in the current public transport network and urges the State Government to improve public transport by extending the rail network into the Eastern suburbs,” said Cr Makin.
Chairperson, Cr Mick Van De Vreede said that by expanding the rail network cars would be removed from the roads and greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced.
“The State Government are rightly concerned about the capacity of our roads to handle freight into the future, however the answer is not more roads, the answer is more public transport.
“The million residents of the outer east that our seven member councils represent do not have the access to public transport that other Melbournians do and as a result they often have no option other than private vehicles.
“The large improvement in buses that is planned will make a difference but a bus doubles the key commute time to the CBD. Train is the only answer.
“Our submission points out that the big weakness in the current network is fivefold;
- No fixed rail to Rowville
- No fixed rail to Doncaster
- No plans for third rail on Belgrave/Lilydale line
- Lack of dedicated lanes for Smart Buses.
- Lack of up to date Public transport interchanges
“If implemented with improved facilities for commuters, these five projects would free up a lot of road space on the Eastern and Monash Freeways, space which could be utilised by freight.
“As a first step Rod Eddington should recommend the development of full business cases for each. Proper business cases would allow the State to budget funding and even seek funding from the Federal Government.
“Even the State Government’s own Sustainability Commissioner, Mr Rod Mc Phail, has pointed to the lack of extensions to hard rail as a shortcoming for Melbourne.
“I urge Sir Rod and the State Government to get serious about improving Melbourne’s liveability, now and into the future by extending rail,” Cr Mick Van De Vreede concluded.