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Business rejects tram bridge

01 Nov 2018

By Sean Car

The Fishermans Bend Business Forum (FBBF) has thrown its support behind the local push against the state government’s proposed Collins St tram bridge through Yarra’s Edge.

The FBBF, which represents some 500 businesses, launched its State Election Policy Position paper last month, which calls for Melbourne Metro 2 to take priority.

Executive officer David Weston says getting on with Metro 2 would eliminate the need for the controversial tram bridge.

“Given all of the other rail projects being promised in this election we are concerned that Metro 2 is a long way off,” he said. “You can see that our position is that Metro 2 should go ahead immediately thereby eliminating the need for a tram bridge.”

The FBBF recently joined a chorus of politicians calling on the state government to commit to starting work on Metro 2 as soon as Metro 1 is completed in 2025. It would link Melbourne’s north from Mernda to the CBD via the new Parkville Station before continuing through Fishermans Bend to Werribee.

While the group is less supportive of Yarra’s Edge tram bridge opponent Keith Sutherland’s proposal for an immersed tube underneath the harbour to NewQuay, it is calling for a new spur line via route 109 through Whiteman St in Southbank.

“Fennell/Plummer street tram would be the better option as it could use route 109 with a turn off at Normanby Rd along Ingles St,” the policy paper says.

The document also reports the FBBF’s surveys of the travel patterns of local workers show they commute from the outer eastern, outer western and south-eastern suburbs.

It goes on to argue that the options being assessed, including the proposed tram bridge, do not meet current needs.

“The aspiration for 80 per cent of journeys by public transport, walking or cycling may be appropriate for residents living in Fishermans Bend but not staff working in the area,” the policy paper says.

A spokesperson for Transport Minister Jacinta Allan told Docklands News the government was still assessing a range of options for future tram connections.

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