The Eastern Transport Coalition has welcomed the Stage 2 report of the Rowville Rail Feasibility study released last week, but has reiterated its concern that it will be well over a decade before a rail line is ever begun.
Stage 1 of the study, completed by consultants, SKR, in 2012 concluded that Rowville Rail would only be feasible after the Melbourne Rail Link (formerly Melbourne Metro project) and capacity upgrades along the Dandenong rail corridor are completed.
While the State Government has committed to the delivery of these projects, the report concedes that their completion is still likely more than a decade away.
Stage 2 focusses on identifying short term measures to improve public transport in the area while the future alignment of the rail line is analysed.
ETC Chairperson, Cr Peter Lockwood said it was reassuring to hear that the government was committed to the project, but said more details were still needed.
“Given the time it has taken to develop this report, we hoped there would be considerably more detail on the recommendations and some sort of cost estimate,” Cr Lockwood said.
“We are pleased that the government has recognised that bus services will need to be boosted in the interim, and we particularly would like to see an increase in the number and frequency of Smartbuses as well as more bus stops and pedestrian crossing facilities.
“Unfortunately, the proposed changes to the Huntingdale station bus parking fall well-short of a modal interchange as sought by Monash University and detailed at the recent Commuters Count Transport Summit and supported by the Monash Council.
“We hope the government will continue to consult with local councils and other stakeholders to ensure the best possible outcome for this long-sought after project and that funding is committed to ultimately bring them to fruition.”
The Stage 1 and Stage 2 reports can be viewed at www.ptv.vic.gov.au/rowvillerail.