State Budget disappointing
for Melbourne’s East
Transport coalition said it was disappointing that public transport needs in
the eastern suburbs have once again been largely ignored in this week’s State
Eastern Transport Coalition
spokesperson Cr Samantha Dunn said many resident’s in Melbourne’s east had no
access to rail services, suffered with overcrowded buses that did not offer a
competitive alternative to car travel, inefficient network links and
sub-standard transport infrastructure.
“We hoped that the
government would maintain the momentum of the Rowville and Doncaster Rail
projects by delivering funding for phase 2 of their feasibility studies.
Regrettably, neither project has rated a mention despite positive outcomes in
Stage 1 of each feasibility study,” Cr Dunn said.
Cr Dunn said it was also
disappointing that the Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel was allocated a relatively small
sum in the Budget compared with the East West Road project, as its construction
was the key to significant expansion of the Dandenong Rail line and the future integration
of a Rowville rail line.
The government plans to spend $10 million in the next
year “to progress detailed planning on Melbourne Metro” while $6 to $8 billion
will be spend on Stage 1 of the East West Link.
Cr Dunn said the Metro Tunnel and signalling were the
linchpin for the urgently needed expansion of the network, and it was concerning
that it wasn’t made a priority.
Cr Dunn said $25 million for additional train services
on the Dandenong rail line was a good start, however the Dandenong Rail
Corridor also needed additional tracks and a signalling upgrade in order to
provide reliable express services, efficient V/Line regional services and
possible future freight services.
$25 million was allocated for bus services, the eastern suburbs have been
overlooked in favour of “key growth areas, leaving our residents to contend
with overcrowded buses and excessively long journey times.
“The $66 million to upgrade
the Ringwood station precinct announced before the Budget is a positive step,
as are the grade separations to remove level crossings in Mitcham, Springvale, Blackburn and
Bayswater,” Cr Dunn said.
“Level crossings create
increasing delays on roads for cars, buses and trams, and limit the future
expansion of the rail network. With so many trouble spots dotted throughout
Melbourne’s east, the ETC hopes that the government will accelerate the program
of grade separations in the future.”
Labels: 2013, cr samantha dunn, dandenong line, doncaster rail, eastern transport coalition, etc, rowville rail, state budget