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Author Topic: Article: Strategy to ease the squeeze  (Read 1100 times)

Online ozbob

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Article: Strategy to ease the squeeze
« on: September 15, 2008, 07:31:57 AM »
From Melbourne Age click here!

Strategy to ease the squeeze

Quote
Strategy to ease the squeeze

    * Clay Lucas, Jason Dowling and Ben Schneiders
    * September 15, 2008

UP TO 20 new six-carriage trains will be ordered to ease overcrowding on Melbourne's rail system.

The $300-million-plus order will be a key plank of the State Government's coming transport statement.

As part of the statement, due by November, the Government is also set to order at least 60 new trams to replace the old Z-class fleet that was commissioned in 1975. Secrecy surrounds the transport statement, which the Government has been working on for several months, as commuter anger over the struggling system becomes a political liability.

But The Age believes the Victorian Transport Plan ? the Government's fourth "long-term" transport statement since 2002 ? is also set to:

.Implement public-private partnerships across the train network in which developers build new railway stations in return for the right to build above the stations.

.Consider abandoning the contentious $7 billion Footscray-to-Caulfield rail route proposed by infrastructure adviser Sir Rod Eddington, and instead make better use of an under-used 80-year-old train tunnel running beneath Footscray's Bunbury Street.

.Announce a construction timetable for the $500 million Frankston bypass, now the subject of an environmental study.

.Bring forward the Government's $660 million orbital SmartBus program, to be completed in 2010, an election year, rather than the planned 2012.

.Dramatically upgrade bus services to Doncaster on the Eastern Freeway.

The Government also is moving towards backing the first stage of Sir Rod's proposed $9 billion road tunnel, which would go from Melbourne's inner west to CityLink.

This road option would result in hundreds of homes in either Yarraville or Sunshine being compulsorily acquired.

But with many tollway companies spooked by gloomy financial conditions, it is unclear who would pay for the road project unless the Federal Government steps in.

The Government's new train order would be in addition to 18 new six-carriage X'Trapolis trains recently ordered by Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky from a French company, Alstom.

Unions are pressuring the Government for the 20 new trains to be built in Victoria, demanding tougher rules on procurement to help the state's flagging manufacturing sector.

New trains for Melbourne are much needed, with some trains in peak periods carrying hundreds more passengers than recommended.

The Government's train shortage intensified this month with the decision to withdraw seven old Hitachi trains because they were riddled with rust.

Connex has been told it must stop running the trains, which date from 1972, because of rusting around the doors and on the floors. All the new trams that run on Melbourne's network were ordered under the Kennett government. The exceptions are the new yellow "bumblebee" trams on the 96 route, rented from France at a cost of $9 million.

The Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry said it was crucial that the coming transport statement looked at the state's short and long-term needs.

Spokesman Chris James said the Government needed to tackle urgent transport pressure points now ? including the Frankston bypass and the "missing link" on the Metropolitan Ring Road in north-eastern Melbourne. "Then there are the longer-term projects we will need to consider for when we have a million extra people living here," Mr James said, nominating the need for a north-south link to take pressure off Punt Road, a rail link to Melbourne Airport, light rail to Doncaster, and a container port at Hastings to support the Port of Melbourne.

The Government's Victorian Transport Plan is being put together by a team of 25 bureaucrats, from the departments of Transport, Planning, VicRoads, Treasury, Sustainability and Environment, and Premier and Cabinet.
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Online ozbob

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Re: Article: Strategy to ease the squeeze
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2008, 01:44:37 PM »
It makes one wonder what is going to happen to bus-centric Brisbane?  Already the buses cannot cope ...

 :-\
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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