The Eastern Transport Coalition has welcomed elements of Premier Ted Baillieu’s transport vision for Melbourne, including a focus on grade separations, increasing the capacity of the Dandenong railway line and the Melbourne Metro plan.
However ETC Chairperson, Yarra Ranges Councillor Samantha Dunn said there were several projects absent from the Premier’s list that were crucial to delivering an integrated and sustainable public transport network to residents in Melbourne’s east.
“The Eastern Transport Coalition represents approximately one million residents in eastern Melbourne, yet there was little mention of the projects that these communities have told us are important to them,” said Cr Dunn.
“We are concerned that the Premier did not mention either the Rowville or Doncaster Rail construction projects – studies for both are currently in progress. Both projects have been sought by residents and been in various stages of planning for at least four decades.
“While we support plans to increasing capacity on the Dandenong line, including nine-carriage trains, it will require significant infrastructure upgrades and therefore is not a short term solution. We are also concerned that there was no mention of other rail lines.
“In terms of grade separations, it is good to see Blackburn on the list, but there needs to be serious consideration about how we deal with this issue across the entire rail network.
“We would also like to see better interchanges at Ringwood, Dandenong and Box Hill, linking rail and bus services and providing a viable alternative to travelling by car.
Cr Dunn said the ETC was keen to work with both the State and Federal Governments to achieve an integrated transport plan that provided better links between rail, trams and buses, optimised the services currently provided and provided new links where needed.
“Integrated transport and land-use planning is crucial to fixing the deficiencies of the past and to ensure we have a viable, efficient and well-patronised public transport network into the future,” Cr Dunn said.