Greens transport plan includes Chandler Highway transit lane, improved bus services

Northcote Leader: Greens transport plan includes Chandler Highway transit lane, improved bus services. Julia Irwin, 3 September 2014

Greens candidate Trent McCarthy is pushing for a priority bus lane on the Chandler Highway. Picture: Josie Hayden

The Greens have weighed in on transport, revealing their plan to prevent Alphington and Fairfield from becoming “traffic sewers”.

Northcote Greens candidate and Darebin councillor Trent McCarthy will launch his party’s plan today, which includes the elimination of three level crossings, a transit lane across the Chandler Highway and an improved bus service running all the way to Hawthorn station.

The 508 bus currently runs between Moonee Ponds and Alphington.

If elected on November 29, Labor has pledged to duplicate the Chandler Highway, which was named in this year’s Leader RACV Red Spot Survey as the worst congestion point in Melbourne.

The Liberal Party has also confirmed the State Government is completing detailed planning for a future upgrade of the highway.

Cr McCarthy said that as part of any duplication, the Greens would introduce “the Chandler Express”, a dedicated transit lane between Alphington and Kew.

“The transit lane would run down the middle of the road and wouldn’t be taking away lanes from cars,” he said. “At the moment there’s no convenient public transport alternative for people heading south.”

He said an extended bus service with improved frequency, running every 10 minutes at peak hour was costed at $1.2 million per year.

Cr McCarthy said the Greens also proposed removing level crossings at Grange Rd, Station St and Victoria Rd to further ease congestion and enable increased train service frequency along the Hurstbridge line.

He said the Greens also backed a new bushland corridor and cycle path running parallel to the train line and linking the Darebin and Merri Creek trails.

Cr McCarthy said he believed it was possible to win the seat of Northcote and the Greens could hold the balance of power in the lower house, giving them the strength to negotiate these changes.

He said with the balance of power, the Greens also had a chance of stopping the East West Link, which had the potential to funnel traffic onto the Chandler Highway bridge into suburbs to the north.

Moreland City Council spends big to fight East West Link but cuts funding for Christmas decorations

Herald Sun: Moreland City Council spends big to fight East West Link but cuts funding for Christmas decorations. Christopher Gillett, Marlene Millott. 27 July 2014

Moreland councillor Oscar Yildiz says fighting the East West Link is a “fruitless case”.

A Melbourne council has spent a small fortune fighting East West Link, while cutting funding for local roads and Christmas decorations.

Moreland City Council and Yarra City Council have spent more than $500,000 on an anti-East West Link campaign, as infrastructure upgrades languish in their own backyards.

A Sunday Herald Sun Waste Watchers investigation found Yarra and Moreland could spend more than $1.5 million to try to derail the Government’s $6-8 billion project.

As Moreland voted to cut $105,000 from its Christmas decorations fund and $545,000 from road upgrades, councillor and former mayor Oscar Yildiz launched an extraordinary ­attack on his colleagues who, along with Yarra, also voted to sue the State Government at a cost of up to $350,000.

“This is ratepayers’ money and the lawyers are going to make some very big dollars from this fruitless case,” Cr Yildiz.

“I can put $350,000 into a kinder, into a struggling sports club, into home care for the elderly.”

Moreland mayor Lambros Tapinos defended the court action and said the council was elected “to make difficult decisions”.

He said the council took funds from road funding to install more lighting in the area.

“We have removed money from the general roads budget to fix a specific road in Glenroy. The other half went into street lights,” he said.

He said the council would still spend $800,000 on Christmas decorations.

“We’ve received a lot of comments, emails and letters and the vast majority are in favour of our action.”

Yarra mayor Jackie Fristacky said there was strong support from her community, citing 20,000 people had signed a petition and 10,000 joined a Facebook group.

“I walk down the street and people tap me on the shoulder and say, ‘Good on you’,” she said. “The motion was passed unanimously across all political persuasions.”

This year both councils increased their rates by more than the CPI – Yarra 5.4 per cent and Moreland 4.5 per cent.

Both started legal action just three months before homes in the project’s path are due to be acquired.

The case would seek to suspend the tender process until after the state election on November 29.

Lawyers will argue the State Government did not follow due process.

Treasurer Michael O’Brien said both councils were wasting money on “party political campaigns”.

Melbourne City Council and Moonee Valley also ­oppose the East West Link.

Support Moreland City Councils legal challenge against East West Link

ABC TV News – Coverage of Moreland City Council legal challenge against East West Link on ABC Melbourne 7pm News (Saturday 19 June 2014)

Yarra Council are meeting this Monday morning (21 July 2014) to consider joining Moreland Councils legal action against East West Link, as the deadline for lodging a challenge is Monday. Councils will need to make a decision on Monday.

Make your support known: please contact your local ward councillor individually and let them know you’ve contacted all of them.

Not in Yarra? Please consider contacting your local councillor and getting them on board this weekend

Contact details:

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