Saturday, December 20, 2008

the plan leaves outer east behind

Last week the state government released its transport plan for Melbourne. It was a disappointing read for those of us in the Outer East. The plan had a distinct focus on the growth suburbs of Melbourne, so for those of us who live in suburbs which have long ago had their growth the outlook was bleak. There was a mention of consideration of the duplication of the Belgrave and Lilydale rail lines in the longer term, but no firm commitment for now. Given that this transport plan covers the next 12 years our communities are going to be waiting for some time.

The Belgrave and Lilydale lines suffer the highest cancellation rate and their record does nothing to entice new users to the service. It was also disappointing to see no increases in off peak frequency for rail services and no funding for cycling infrastructure in the outer east.

Once again our communities have been short changed and we continue to be reliant on motor vehicles, six times more reliant than people who live in inner Melbourne. I have once again been elected as council’s representative on the Eastern Transport Coalition, a sustainable transport advocacy group made up of 7 councils of the outer east.

The first meeting of the ETC for 2009 will see the group set an advocacy plan for the year and I will be making sure I represent the community views of Yarra Ranges. If you have any comments on the transport plan post them now.

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