By Ian Hundley
On 3 December the Banyule City Council resolved to support the preferred Eastern Freeway “Express to the City ” alignment for the proposed Doncaster rail service.
Doncaster rail is a key element in the much needed expansion of the rail network and essential for reducing car dependency in the north-eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
This follows the release of a report by the state government- commissioned Doncaster Rail Feasibility Study which identified three potential route options for a train service from Doncaster Hill to the Melbourne CBD. In addition to the route along the Eastern Freeway the other alternative routes in the feasibility study report included a service from Doncaster Hill to connect the Belgrave/ Lilydale line at Box Hill and a line which roughly parallels the route of the 48 tram extended to Doncaster Hill.
Banyule City Council, together with Manningham, Boroondara, Whitehorse, Yarra, and Melbourne City Councils, as members of the Doncaster Rail Local Government Group, have released an analytical report which examines in more detail potential expansions and extensions to the existing public transport network in the area to better connect the intended Doncaster rail route as well as to examine funding options for the project.
The study, entitled Doncaster Rail Accessibility and Alternative Funding was undertaken on behalf of the Local Government Group by Curtin University, RMIT, Arup and Flinders Advisory Services. Follow the link to read the report on the City of Manningham website.
The Banyule Council resolution, which was moved by Councillor Tom Melican and seconded by Councillor Mark Di Pasquale supported the “Express to the City” route for Doncaster rail together with proposed corresponding north-south public transport improvements, including the potential northern extension of the route 72 tram on Burke Road to Banyule.
The review of bus services in Banyule undertaken by the previous state government in 2009 to which Friends of Banyule made a detailed submission identified major deficiencies in bus services in Banyule. None of these improvements were made. Frequent connecting bus services would be a key element of a Doncaster rail service.
The Council resolution can be seen on the City of Banyule website click here to follow the link.
Friends of Banyule committee member, Ian Hundley, spoke at the Council meeting in support of the proposed Doncaster rail service as a project which is long overdue in the filling of a gap in the rail network and which would provide significant benefits for residents of the City of Banyule. Follow this link to read a summary of Ian Hundley’s presentation on our website.
Before being elected to government in 2010 the Baillieu opposition gave strong support to the Doncaster rail service. Since then the RACV and other pro-roads lobbyists have in effect been rewriting transport policy on the run on behalf of the Baillieu government. Friends of Banyule is campaigning with other community groups to hold the government to their word on Doncaster rail.