The Age takes the east-west morning peak hour challenge

The Age takes the east-west morning peak hour challenge. Darren Gray. November 27, 2014

The East West peak-hour challenge

Reporter Darren Gray woke up with the sparrows on Wednesday to test how long it currently takes to drive from Melbourne’s outer eastern suburb of Chirnside Park to the airport during the morning peak.

Our peak hour drive starts in Champagne Rise, a quiet street in the outer eastern suburb of Chirnside Park almost 40 kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD. It’s nearly 7am, but the street is wide awake. At one house a man hangs up Christmas decorations as a young boy watches on, while across the road a man strides towards his car for the morning commute.

The Age departs Champagne Rise at 7.05am, on a journey to test what morning peak hour traffic is like for people who live in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. For those who drive along the Eastern Freeway and into the CBD, or beyond the CBD and up CityLink to Melbourne Airport, we are observing how the traffic moves, what are the congestion hotspots and what happens at the end of the Eastern Freeway?

Wait your turn … The Eastern Freeway near Hoddle Street on the day of our test. Photo: Eddie Jim

For airport-bound vehicles and those heading to Flemington or nearby, what happens when three lanes become two, which then squeeze into one after crossing Royal Parade? In essence, we are examining what is the trip like right now for motorists who will benefit from the controversial multi-billion-dollar East West Link, if it is built? Continue Reading…

Kew looms as referendum on the East West link

Melbourne Leader: Kew looms as referendum on the East West link. Greg Gliddon. 17 November 2014

The East West Link dominates discussion among Kew election candidates. Picture: News Limited.

The upcoming state election looms as a referendum on the East West Link and the electorate of Kew sits as a key stakeholder in the controversial road’s future.

Labor candidate James Gaffey threw down the gauntlet to Liberal rival Tim Smith during interviews that Leader conducted exclusively with Kew candidates, suggesting the link could spell the end of any future Doncaster rail extension.

Candidates were asked a series of questions without notice to gauge their opinions on a range of key issues before the November 29 poll. Continue Reading…

Universities’ analysis shows East West link bill to reach $17.8 billion

The Age: Universities’ analysis shows East West link bill to reach $17.8 billion. November 11, 2014. Royce Millar, Ben Schneiders and Josh Gordon

An artist’s impression of Melbourne’s East West Link.

The Napthine Government’s signature infrastructure project will cost Victorian taxpayers as much as $17.8 billion, and will be a drain on the public purse until the mid-2040s, the first major analysis of the controversial East West Link shows.

A report by 10 leading transport planners and financial analysts from three Melbourne universities concludes the East West price tag will be “comparable” with the Wonthaggi desalination plant, the cost of, and secrecy around which, contributed to the defeat of the Brumby government in 2010.

It estimates the large annual payments to the private operators at about $400 million in the early years after construction is complete, and the road is being used. “This is a staggering sum of money by any standards,” said Professor Jago Dodson from RMIT University. “And it is money that could be put to far better effect in resolving Melbourne’s transport inadequacies.”

Flemington Bridge station and cycle spiral. Photo: Artist impression

The 10 academics – five of whom are professors at RMIT, Monash and University of Melbourne – used the limited public information available on the project to estimate the costs to the Victorian public purse. Continue Reading…

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