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Transport experts urge more tram routes from Docklands

01 Oct 2019

Transport experts urge more tram routes from Docklands Image

By David Schout

Three new peak-time tram routes from Docklands should be established from 2029 to deal with escalating demand, an independent transport group has said.

As part of its wide-ranging Melbourne Rail Plan 2020-2050, the Rail Futures Institute concluded that three extra weekday peak routes (7am to 9am, and 4pm to 6:30 pm) should be established from Central Pier to “provide additional capacity” and “relieve pressure” on the network.

The independent group, comprised of experienced rail professionals, engineers, urban planners and economists, concluded the three new routes should be:

Route 10: Docklands (Central Pier) to Preston (via La Trobe Street).

Route 71: Docklands (Central Pier) to Kew Junction (via Harbour Esplanade).

Route 85: Docklands to East Preston (via La Trobe, Spencer and Bourke Streets).

Routes 10 and 85 would be introduced from 2029, and route 71 from 2034.

“(It is) proposed to progressively introduce supplementary peak period services on inner parts of several tram routes to provide additional capacity in these areas and relieve pressure on full distance routes,” the report stated.

The report also proposes a new “turnback” facility at Docklands Park, one of several facilities to better leverage existing track infrastructure and allow for the “introduction of the new CBD and cross-CBD routes.”

Docklands residents predominantly use the 11, 30, 35, 48, 70, 75 and 86 trams for their trips in and out of the CBD and beyond.

Extra peak-hour trams would go some way to preventing the overcrowding that, at times, can prevent more passengers from boarding.

The 175-page report, which covers trains, trams and medium-density transit, concluded that while large-scale projects like the $11 billion Metro Tunnel was a step in the right direction, continued foresight was needed.

“The Victorian government has begun the rebuilding of Victoria’s public transport infrastructure. This report provides sound guidance for the immense task that lies ahead,” University of Melbourne Professor of Economics Ross Garnaut said in the report’s foreword.

The 30-year plan concluded that large public investment was required to “catch up” with the city’s growing population.

“Melbourne’s continued urban spread and population growth has not been matched with an equivalent expansion of the public transport network,” the report stated.

“Symptoms of this transport malaise include worsening congestion, excessive journey to work times, restricted access to jobs, car-dependent new suburbs, along with negative social, health and environmental impacts.”

 

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