The Eastern Transport Coalition has welcomed the State ALP’s pledge to significantly invest in public transport as outlined in its Project 10,000 document, but disappointed that the plan gives no actual commitment to build Doncaster or Rowville Rail.
ETC chairperson, Cr Samantha Dunn said Melbourne commuters were now faced with two imperfect and incomplete transport plans, despite years of studies and plans, including State 1 of the Rowville Rail Study and Doncaster Rail study completed only this year.
“While the Napthine Government has a clear policy with commitments and timeframes around Metro, Rowville and Doncaster, they don’t intend to deliver these projects until sometime in 2025-2050,’’ Cr Dunn said.
“The ALP says it will speed up the delivery of Melbourne Metro because it will allow for more network expansions, but will only commit ‘in principle’ to Rowville and Doncaster, stating that they will review the priority of these projects.
“Doncaster and Rowville risk being the most well considered and unbuilt rail lines in the city’s history.”
Cr Dunn said the ETC applauded the commitment to urgently remove more level crossings in the outer east and was pleased that this action now had largely bi-partisan support.
“What is concerning is the silence on bus services, which have similarly been the subject of numerous review and recommendations and still not enough action over the decades,’’ she said.
“For many residents in Melbourne east buses are the only public transport available within a reasonable distance of their homes, yet they are forced to deal with overcrowded buses and excessively long journey times, with no commitment for improvement in sight.”
“Both sides of politics need to do better and the ETC will be campaigning for better outcomes across all modes of public transport and for all commuters in the outer east over the next year.”
Cr Dunn encouraged commuters to share their thoughts about the plan via the ETC’s Commuters Count Facebook page or the hash tag #commuterscount on Twitter.
“If residents in Melbourne’s east want to receive more than they have in the past 40 years, now is the time to make your opinions known.’’