AN ALternative vision for a more liveable north east
what will the Greens do to fix congestion in the North-East?
At $15.8 billion, the North East Link will be the world’s most expensive road per kilometre, yet it won’t fix Melbourne’s traffic problems.
With that kind of money, there are better longer-term fixes that will have a greater impact while improving the lives of residents in the North-East.
Transport in the East
A road alone won’t work
It will take more than just a new toll road to solve our congestion issues and give commuters more time at home with their families. Victorians deserve a real plan to solve congestion. The North East Link just doesn’t stack up as a solution
Why a road alone won't work
- Building roads encourages cars: research in Melbourne and other cities shows traffic is induced when new urban toll roads and freeways are built.
- Communities will be divided: Regardless of which route is chosen, communities in the northeast will be physically divided by a 6 lane road.
- Traffic will be funnelled onto on-ramps: local roads will be congested more than they are now due to commuters trying to access the toll road.
- Trucks will avoid tolls: trucking companies have already said they are deliberately rat-running to avoid tolls on CityLink. Why would they do otherwise on the North East Link?
- Environmental and cultural sites will be damaged: all of the routes require the destruction of some green space.
- Trucks carrying dangerous goods will still use Rosanna Rd and other existing routes: placarded loads are not allowed in tunnels.
- The modelling used for the project is dodgy: the Labor Government has not released the full traffic studies or modelling assumptions.
For more information on the technical issues and problems with the North East Link, click here for the FAQ.
The Greens’ Plan
1. Providing alternative transport options via more reliable and easier to access public transport:
Public transport should get people where they want to be, when they want to be there. We’ll fix the missing links and start on the vital transport projects governments have neglected.
How we'll do it
- Upgrade of the Hurstbridge metro line: track duplication from Greensborough to Eltham and remove all remaining level crossings.
- Upgrade of the South Morang metro line: complete the extension to Mernda and remove all level crossings.
- A network wide upgrade to high capacity signalling: our public transport system is currently bottlenecked by out-dated train signalling. Upgrading to high capacity signalling will allow for more frequent trains, greatly increasing the capacity of the network.
- Doncaster Bus Rapid Transit: a dedicated bus way down the median of the Eastern Freeway. This can transport twice as many people during the morning peak as the existing bus services, getting thousands of cars off the Freeway. This service can be built in 2-3 years and would be a precursor to Doncaster Heavy Rail.
- Doncaster Heavy Rail: transporting up to 15,000 people per hour each way in the peak, and taking the pressure of the Eastern Freeway. That’s more than 20,000 cars off the Eastern Freeway in the morning peak.
- Extend the 86 Tram: an extension from LaTrobe University to South Morang Station will give students an alternative to driving.
- Better bus timetabling: smarter buses that better connect with other transport options and provide live timetable updates.
- More feeder bus services: more services more frequently, to get people to the train station without needing a car.
- New electric buses: for a smoother, quieter and cleaner ride. No more broken down buses on the Eastern Freeway and Hoddle Street.
- Improved bike facilities: Greater availability of bike cages at stations and allowing bikes on buses.
2. Improve existing roads for those who need them:
There will always be a need for roads, but more roads isn’t the answer. We want real investigation into traffic congestion and solutions to bottlenecks
How we'll do it
- Research bottle necks and investigate solutions: ensure real traffic flow information is collected and look into alternative solutions to improve traffic flow.
- Cycling and bus lanes where possible: Investigate where roads can be upgraded to accommodate bus and cycling lanes.
3. Get trucks off our roads:
Non-local truck traffic adds to traffic congestion and hurts communities. The Greens want to invest in getting freight onto rail and trucks off our roads.
How we'll do it
- Creating freight rail shuttles: getting freight off the trucks and onto rail. Trucking companies want it, the infrastructure is there, it will only cost $58 million. We should just get on with it.
- Traffic dampening: narrowing roads where it’s feasible to make it difficult for trucks to use residential streets.
- Enforce curfews: ensure truck curfews are adhered to through increased enforcement measures.
4. Encourage decentralised employment opportunities:
Decentralised employment and flexible work opportunities increase equality while decreasing traffic. We’ll encourage businesses to get out of the city to where people are.
How we'll do it
- Create de-centralised business hubs: encourage businesses to get out of the city to where people are. New business districts can be created in areas such as South Morang, and further enhanced in Box Hill and Dandenong.
- Better planning: New estates might meet a demand for cheaper housing, but they come at a cost as they are often poorly serviced by necessary infrastructure. Better planning controls are needed to ensure new estates have better connectivity, public transport options and hence greater local employment options.
- Flexible work and telecommuting: Businesses should be encouraged to provide a flexible workplace culture, including opportunities to work from home.
A narrow residential street congested with trucks that can’t fit in the lanes and often clip the kerbs and poles.
Rosanna Road is unsafe and in need of a major overhaul.
Rosanna Road poses immense health risks to pedestrians and drivers, with unsafe traffic conditions and rising levels of noise and air pollution. For too long, residents along Rosanna Road have had to contest with the busy, overcrowded and unsafe road. They need a solution now, not in ten years time.
Manningham is the only municipality in metropolitan Melbourne that relies solely on buses for public transport.
Doncaster Rail was first put forward over 100 years ago and the median strip was held in reserve of the train line during the creation of the Eastern Freeway.
Residents have been left out in the cold waiting for too long. Plans for the North East Link show that the median strip will now be turned into more lanes, forever ending the possibility of a high capacity transportation network to Doncaster.
Rapid Bus Network
There are very few options for getting around the East.
Which is a massive problem: students that study at Monash University or La Trobe University have no reliable public transport to get there. Workers trying to get across to a workplace in the East have no option but to drive. Nearly all trips default to car trips because there is no alternative.
High quality public transport to key destinations is the only low cost option for reducing car dependence and congestion.
The suburbs of Melbourne’s northeast, used to be renowned for the less urban way of life, tree lined streets and quiet neighbourhoods.
Massive road trains (B-Doubles) now use roads such as Rosanna Road, that directly back onto residential houses. Weighing up to 62.5 tonnes and up to 19 metres in length, they take this route to avoid paying tolls. It’s time to put the needs of the community ahead of the trucking industry.
The Greens have developed a plan to take the worst of the trucks problem away – immediately.
Samantha Dunn MP on Transport in the East
As the member for Eastern Metropolitan, Samantha Dunn MP has used every opportunity to speak up for the community. Samantha Dunn MP will work tirelessly in with the community to:
- Develop a comprehensive alternative infrastructure plan to protect Melbourne's liveability.
- Force the Government to be fully open and transparent with information about the proposed toll road, including acquisitions, the business case and local traffic impacts.
- Work with the community and experts to ensure their voices are heard in the Environmental Effects Statement process.
- Pressure local MPs and Councillors to oppose the project.
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