Thursday, December 11, 2008

Preliminary analysis of the 2008 Victorian transport plan

Well, the transport plan is now out. I have read the Overview and attended the last part of the GAMUT forum held to discuss it yesterday.

The plan has been issued from a political bunker. Again, politics is really not delivering what people want or what Melbourne needs.

From the “Message from the Ministers”:

The message has been heard loud and clear: Victorians want more trains and better roads, more transport choice in the suburbs and regions, to feel safe when travelling, and to protect the environment by investing more in public transport, cycling, walking, better urban planning and greener vehicle technology. This is what The Victorian Transport Plan delivers.

But it does not deliver this.

The issues I see are:

  • No meaningful public consultation process. The majority of public feedback from the Eddington report has been glossed over or ignored.
  • $20b is going to roads and freeways - this is well over half of the$38b total budget
  • No carbon accounting or analysis of carbon outputs per transport mode/journey
  • Ongoing development of the freeway network - through very sensitive green belts (the Greensborough Templestowe connection) - which is pure RACV/Roads lobby agenda
  • A secret process - even a lot of the Department of Transport were kept in the dark and only found out about its contents when it was released.
  • No long term goals set - passenger journeys by mode, carbon emissions reduction, access to public transport, km of bike paths, km of railway. If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it
  • No significant budget increase for bike paths and routes, and no specific commitments, despite the fact that more bikes were sold last year than cars in Australia. $100m over 3 years would have been barely adequate; they have committed to a paltry $100m over 10 years - this will just buy some paint for lane markings
  • The real net cost to the economy of roads is not measured by Treasury, yet they continue to claim that “public transport costs more” - when the reverse is the case
  • No acknowledgment that more roads and freeways equate to more cars. Remember CityLink was going to “solve all Melbourne’s transport needs for the future”? No the South Eastern freeway/carpark is being widened for the second time since ($2b)
  • Unclear need for the Footscray to Domain rail tunnel. The rail tunnel is supposed to “provide more capacity for future train lines to connect in” yet this is not supported by evidence, and none of these train lines are actually on the drawing board (e.g. Rowville, Doncaster). Connex wants the tunnel, not the people of Melbourne.
  • Safe seats suffer the impact. Road tunnels through Labor/Green marginal seats have been omitted, but tunnels through safe Labor seats (such as in the Footscray area) have not.
  • Melbourne's eastern suburbs have missed out. No Rowville or Doncaster rail lines. Monash University misses out on a desperately needed railway service. Increased capacity on the Belgrave and Lilydale lines is delayed until after 2021.
This is the same bad process as the government’s water strategy. They consult secretly with industry and big business behind close doors, ignore the wisdom and needs of the public, and launch a half baked reactive plan along with an expensive (full newspaper pages) advertising.

Overall, 3/10. At least it is not 95% roads as previous plans have been.

More detailed analysis to follow.

If you live in Melbourne, contact your local MP and ask him to represent your wants and needs.

You can also contribute to 2008 Victorian transport plan, a wiki article on Greenliviningpedia.org

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1 comment:

RVB said...

Apparently Melbourne2030 was purged and it's uncertain how MOTC will interplay with the new plan. I'm now going to bite my toes off out of frustration.