Thursday, May 18, 2006

Transport Wrap

Cities cannot survive on promises
If wishes were horses, then beggars could ride. Since the Bracks Government was elected in 1999, Victorians have been presented with lots of transport plans to improve the liveability of Melbourne through promises to improve the public transport system.
The plans aren't a serious attempt to confront Melbourne's transport problem. They are wishlists designed to present an impression that the Government is seriously tackling the issue.
After seven years, the voter is entitled to look to the Government's record rather than take on trust its promises for the future.

For the most part, the transport plan seems to be fairy floss wrapped around the decision to funnel more traffic onto CityLink via the proposal to spend a billion dollars on the Monash-West Gate corridor.

Stance on new roads takes a toll
No government wants to announce new tolls just six months out from an election. But Premier Steve Bracks' decision to stay away from tolls means that no significant new road projects are included in his $10.5 billion transport blueprint. Tolls could build many desperately needed roads, such as a tunnel between CityLink and the Eastern Freeway and the Frankston bypass, and finish the Ring Road from Greensborough to Ringwood.

But the Bracks Government was determined that no new tolls would be announced.

Integrated transport system will solve all?
During the next 25 years, growth will continue, with the state's population expected to increase by 1.2 million people, with more than one in four of those new Victorians settling in provincial Victoria.This growth is placing a severe strain on the transport system, creating severe road congestion and stretching peak-hour public transport to the limit. Saddled with an outdated public transport system designed to take people only from A-to-B (the suburbs to the city) rather than A-to-Z (the suburbs and the regions to anywhere and everywhere), the majority of working families have been now forced to use a second car. This stretches family budgets and congests arterial roads across the state.

All aboard for a $10 billion ride
VICTORIAN drivers are being encouraged to give up their cars, with the Bracks Government pouring billions of dollars into public transport ahead of desperately needed new roads.
The $10.5 billion transport blueprint unveiled yesterday is skewed firmly towards public transport, with two-thirds of the money earmarked for hundreds of new buses, trains, trams and rail upgrades. Just one-third of the money will go on road projects, with the widening of the Monash and West Gate freeways the main relief for frustrated motorists.
There will be no new roads, bridges or tunnels.

RACV tips rocky road
RACV general manager of public policy Dr Ken Ogden said there was much missing for roads.
"While there is a lot to like in the statement, we are very disappointed there was no commitment to the completion of the ring road between Greensborough and the Eastern Freeway, nor the Frankston bypass," Mr Ogden said.

"These are critical projects, and it is inconceivable that a 20-year strategy has not recognised their importance. "The proposal for a reversible lane on the West Gate Bridge is only a short-term solution; and meanwhile nothing is proposed to solve the mess at the inner end of the Eastern Freeway."

The Public Transport Users' Association said that despite an extension of bus services, many Melburnians would still be in transport black holes.
'This statement is just the latest of a continuing saga of plans that have simply been regurgitated to provide endless re-announcements with very few tangible improvements," spokesman Alex Makin said.


Sunday, May 07, 2006

A weekend to consider the future

"Brackswatch notes the resignation of Robert Doyle as State Leader of the Liberal Party, and the sole cadidacy of Ted Bailleu for that position on Monday.

Steve Bracks remains Premier of Victoria."