Friday, December 05, 2008

Transport plans for Melbourne and sustainability

I am away for a bike race this weekend - the Tour of Bright.

I have just read about what is likely to be in the Brumby Government's transport plan due for release.

What a disappointment. It seems the government will avoid once again any signficant investment in public transport and keep building more unsustainable roads and freeways.

The bad
  • Eddington freeway - Port to CityLink (freight, road). It may be needed, but more trucks and cars rather than rail.
  • Western Ring Road freeway connection investigation - to ruin the green belt in Greensborough, Diamond Creek and Warrandyte. More Los Angeles style "freeways to everywhere".
  • Freeway bypass around Frankston - having just constructed the unneeded and poorly used Eastlink, we now need to "extend the freeway" so that the precitable bottleneck at Frankston is eased, to ensure profits for Eastlink.
The ordinary
  • A very expensive $8b rail tunnel connecting Caulfield to Footscray, but this is deferred. The cynical might say it will never be built. I am not convinced it is needed, or should be a priority. Underground rail is 20 times more expensive than on the ground rail.
The good
  • South Morang rail extension. Long overdue; if it happens it will be the first significant rail line to be built since 1930.
  • Tarneit Rail link to growing western suburbs.
  • NO Clifton Hill - Footscray road tunnel. It is not needed, would have been hugely expensive, and of course just encouraged more car use.
The missing
  • No proper inner city metro for Melbourne
  • No rail for Rowville and Monash University (promised for years)
  • No rail for Doncaster (promised for years)
  • No airport rail link (still thousands of cars and taxis every day, and hundreds of buses)
  • No rail (light or heavy) for Melbourne's recent boundary expansions just announced by the Victorian Government (West and North of Melbourne)
I give the Brumby Government about 2/10 for this myopic and half baked transport plan. It was doomed to not deliver given the very restricted "East West Needs Assesment" brief that Eddington was given.
And of course, there will be no consideration or measurement of carbon emissions for transport options - which will be much higher for road and freeways.
In summary, the Victorian Goverment's transport planning is a bad as their water management strategy. Ill considered, focused on industry lobby groups, and basically ignoring sustainable transport options that will improve Melbourne's liveability. Thumbs down.


Anonymous said...

Excellent analysis Peter. I too shall post on the plan.

HL said...

P88 still muttering about clearways:

....To free up lane space for public transport and keep traffic flowing during the busiest periods, the Victorian Government is extending clearway times to match growing peak times and better managing traffic light sequencing.

In other words- the freeway systems we build don't cope, so stream traffic through surban social/economic activity centres and say it is for the benefit of public transport. spin indeed.

Peter Campbell said...

Yes, the clearway changes obviously favour rat running cars over people, strip shopping and local communities. Just look at Toorak Rd near the Camberwell Rd junction to see what a detrimental effect this has. The whole notion of cars for mass transit is a faulty paradigm. They don't shift enough people and get in each other's way. And building more roads just encourages more cars, which is why they keep adding lanes to freeways. Driving down the road to ruin . . .

hl said...

...the road to ruin or to the next red light. Ask the commuters on the Monash freeway this morning stuck in the tunnel. QED

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