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Doncaster Rail plans lost to tunnel vision
30 October 2014
The 2026 completion date for the Doncaster Rail, as outlined in the State Government’s delayed Stage 1 feasibility study, falls hugely short of the Coalition’s promises made prior to the 2010 election, according to Yarra Mayor, Cr Jackie Fristacky.
Cr Fristacky also described the study’s recommendation on the rail link’s termination at the Doncaster Park and Ride, rather than the busy Doncaster Shopping Town, as a major disappointment because it would severely limit the attractiveness and effectiveness of the project.
“Not only has the Government delayed release of the Stage 1 feasibility study and is clearly nowhere near completing stage 2 committed to by the Government, it has missed the point on key aspects that would make the project attractive and effective,” Cr Fristacky said.
Cr Fristacky, in the lead-up to the November State Election, urged Victoria’s two major parties to commit to fast tracking a Doncaster Rail Line.
"This was identified as needed in Melbourne’s 1969 Transport Plan and an easement in the Eastern Freeway made to accommodate the line," she said.
“Doncaster Rail is the only viable and sustainable solution to Melbourne’s congestion generated from the eastern suburbs, and is key to dealing with congestion on Alexandra Parade and Hoddle Street.”
Yarra is one of six metropolitan and eastern region Councils strongly advocating for integrated transport solutions.
“There is no doubt that Doncaster Rail is a cleaner, faster, safer and more sensible option than building the East West Link,” C Fristacky said.
“It would have long term benefits contributing substantially to productivity through reducing congestion, travel time, travel costs and traffic accidents.
"It would also facilitate the development of Alexandra Parade and Hoddle Street as boulevards."
Council’s analysis shows that a Doncaster Rail with effective feeder bus and tram services would remove 800 vehicles from the road per train – over 100,000 passengers a day. It is emphasised that each 800 vehicles equates to a 3.7 kilometre lane of traffic. Travel time from Doncaster to the CBD via a dedicated rail line would be cut to 20 minutes.
The Doncaster Rail project will provide mass transit for a major metropolitan population precinct which currently has no rail or tram service. It is the real ‘missing link’ to providing viable public transport services to more than 600,000 people living in the eastern region.
Strategic Advocacy Coordinator
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