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Councillors debate tram bridge

04 Aug 2016

Councillors debate tram bridge Image

The Fishermans Bend tram bridge should take precedence over the existing Yarra’s Edge marina, according to a City of Melbourne councillor.

Speaking in response to a City of Melbourne submission on the Fishermans Bend Recast Vision at the July 5 Future Melbourne Committee meeting, Cr Stephen Mayne called for clarity on future public transport links for the suburb.

“… Yarra’s Edge residents might not like it but I think it should be a priority of the tram over the boats in terms of that key bridge near Yarra’s Edge to open it up.”

The State Government has previously ruled out the tram bridge option and a public transport strategy does not appear in the recast vision.

The vision explains that a number of studies are currently being completed to investigate transport options for Fisherman Bend.

It’s anticipated the Fishermans Bend Framework, scheduled for release in November, will include a transport plan.

The recast vision does include imagery, which indicates a public transport link from the CBD and river crossing through to Fishermans Bend, but the form this public transport link would take is not mentioned.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said it was possible to provide a public transport link without dividing the community at Yarra’s Edge.

“I believe yes, we do need public transport into it (Fishermans Bend) but let’s look at whether we can push that tram further westwards, away from Yarra’s Edge and down away from the project area,” Cr Doyle said.

It’s unclear how the tram bridge could be pushed further west given the existing tramline on Collins St terminates at Library at the Dock.  While Collins Wharf continues further west, current plans for Lend Lease’s development of this site do not indicate a continuation of the tramline.

The only alignment that appears possible, in terms of a connection with the CBD via Docklands, is the original proposal of a crossing from the end of the Collins St tramline across the marina, through Yarra’s Edge and then continuing on into Fishermans Bend.

While the State Government has ruled out this plan, City of Port Phillip is pushing the concept and it appears at least some Melbourne councillors are on-board with the idea.

Meanwhile Yarra’s Edge resident and Fishermans Bend Ministerial Advisory Committee community representative Philip Spender says the transport strategy for Fishermans Bend was still being determined.

“As the Yarra’s Edge community, our expectation remains that the local member and planning minister will maintain their position that there will be no tram bridge through Yarra’s Edge,” Mr Spender said.

While the tram bridge issue continues to attract attention, it’s also clear there is a desire for clearer information about the public transport strategy for Fishermans Bend.

The government has ruled out the tram bridge concept but it hasn’t yet given any clear indications of what will replace it.

Cr Rohan Leppert said the Fishermans Bend Recast Vision “squibs” the issue of public transport links but did not voice support for the tram bridge option.

“We need to actually bite the bullet and say where those links are going to be and how and under what timing those links are going to be delivered,” Cr Leppert said.

“Whether we’re talking about heavy rail, light rail or other public transport links, now, not after this vision is adopted, is the time for the government to get real about what they’re going to do and when and why,” Cr Leppert said.

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