Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Open letter to Melbourne City Councillors on the proposed East West link toll-road tunnel

Melbourne City Councillors,

I understand that you are considering whether to support the Napthine Government's proposed "East West Link Tunnel" at a Council meeting tonight (Agenda Item 6.7 East West Link and Royal Park).

I strongly believe this proposal should not proceed for the following reasons:
  • The main premise for the project - that it will solve traffic congestion problems on Hoddle St, Punt Rd and the Eastern Freeway - is not correct.  There is no evidence that it will have any effect on reducing traffic congestion.
  • The tunnel construction will destroy large sections of public land, including Royal Park
  • The tunnel will encouraged increased motor vehicle traffic through the city with attendant increase in health risks due to pollution and traffic
  • The $8b required to build the tunnel will prevent investment in transport solutions such as the Doncaster rail line.  One railway line carries the same amount of people as 20 lanes of toll roads.
  • The clear majority of traffic coming along the Eastern Freeway does so to access Melbourne's CBD rather than connecting through to City Link and the Tullamarine toll road.  The proposed EW tunnel will not service the vast majority of these commuters.
  • The EW tunnel will seriously disrupt and impede cycling transport and access to the CBD.

I strongly urge you to support Doncaster Rail and oppose the East West toll tunnel.

Regards, Peter Campbell

Post script:  

At the Council meeting on Tuesday 27 August, the following Melbourne City Councillors supported the East West tunnel: Robert Doyle, Susan Riley, Kevin Louey, Ken Ong, Beverley Pinder-Mortimer.

I have asked them why and am awaiting their response.

However, Melbourne City Council will oppose the east-west link in its current form after a narrow 6-5 vote by councillors. The resolution of the Council re the East West Link is Clause 1.6 which reads as follows:

[Melbourne City Council] "Resolves that, given the City of Melbourne does not yet have the data at hand to fully assess the East-West Link and given that the need for further dialogue with LMA (Linking Melbourne Authority) and the State Government. the City of Melbourne does not support the East-West Link project as announced."

No comments: