Government halts Hoddle Street study: Doncaster Rail study to commence

Stirling Station Transperth

Doncaster Rail could copy the highly successful Perth model. Click on the above link "Stirling Station Transperth" to view how bus/train interchanges might work on the Eastern Freeway.

The recent decision by the Victorian government to halt the engineering study to increase the carrying capacity of Hoddle Street has been welcomed by Friends of Banyule.
The study was announced in December 2008 by the Labor government in its Victorian Transport Plan.

Many elements of this plan are now reportedly under review by the Baillieu government. When announced by the previous government the Hoddle Street study was described as an engineering investigation to determine the feasibility of grade separating key junctions in Hoddle Street. The most likely contenders would seem to have been Johnston Street, Victoria Street and Bridge Road.

Residents of Collingwood, Richmond and East Melbourne have suffered increases in road traffic ever since the early 1970’s when the Eastern Freeway was opened and Hoddle Street was transformed from a tree-lined boulevard to a sprawling traffic sewer. A realistic possibility if the Hoddle Street study had continued was that Hoddle Street would have been turned into a high-speed freeway.

The study has been halted because of the coalition government’s decision to undertake a study of a new rail service from the city to Doncaster.

Much of the traffic currently on Hoddle Street travels on the Eastern Freeway. A well designed train system with effective linking suburban bus services would substantially reduce this traffic. Friends of Banyule’s Marion Ware said “Friends of Banyule welcome this decision. With frequent bus services to connect with the train the Doncaster rail service would relieve significant pressure from Banyule roads. Perth’s public transport model has shown that this approach is very successful. The previous government steadfastly resisted a serious commitment to building a rail service to Doncaster. Their approach, in October 2010, was to roll out higher frequency bus services for residents of the City of Manningham and small part of the City of Whitehorse.

Whist these services, collectively  known as Doncaster Area Rapid Transit (DART), have provided increased public transport capacity they do not have the capability to adequately reduce road traffic on the Eastern Freeway and Hoddle Street by putting sufficient people onto space efficient and speedy public transport services. Whilst a train may carry about 800 people a bus may carry about 45. (The average car travelling on Melbourne roads is used to carry only 1.2 persons).

Also trains have much superior running time to buses and cars.

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About Friends of Banyule Inc

President & Public Officer of Friends of Banyule Inc, a community not- for-profit organisation to enhance and protect the environmental assets of Banyule City. Currently fighting the proposed NE Link freeway through one of inner Melbourne's most ecologically sensitive areas and historical areas.
This entry was posted in Baillieu Government, Car Dependency, Ne-Link Freeway, Public Transport. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Government halts Hoddle Street study: Doncaster Rail study to commence

  1. Richard says:

    Hoddle Street and Punt Road carry much more traffic than cars bound for, or exiting the freeway. If you were a local resident you would know that. East of the city, that route is virtually the only major route for north south traffic movement.
    Yes the rail link will improve things enormously. But Hoddle Street and Punt Road is a mess between Clifton Hill and High Street, Prahran during and near to peak times and on the weekends.

    • Ian Hundley says:

      Yes Richard, I know that only too well. North-south public transport access in this corridor is particularly poor. I’ve been stuck on the 246 bus service, Elsternwick station to La Trobe Uni, Bundoora, in the peak. It is the only route bus service that traverses the full length of Hoddle Street and Punt Road. It does not have SmartBus status, although I understand it was promised at one stage. The Hurstbridge and Epping rail services require upgrading. Notwithstanding the recent introduction of the 901, 902 and 903 SmartBuses bus services linking rail services in the northern suburbs remain poor. Relatively few heavy trucks use Hoddle Street and the scope for modal shift to public transport is substantial with the right government initiatives.
      Urban expansion is the local tsunami about to dump on Melbourne and Hoddle Street. It was turbo charged in the dying days of the last state government with the bipartisan decision of the major parties to expand the Urban Growth Boundary to the north and west. With current policy settings it will inevitably generate more car dependent dormitory suburbs 1950’s style on the urban fringe. We are headed towards permanent traffic jams in and around the CBD as a consequence. That one also requires a big rethink.

  2. Sean Deany says:

    Dear Friends of Banyule,

    I am a novice transport planner and public transit advocate who is currently working on a scenario plan for a possible Doncaster Rail Line called the Doncaster Metro.

    My blog which is in its preliminary stage illustrated the Doncaster Metro: html://melbournemetrosystem.blogspot.com

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