MAKE no mistake, the east-west tollway will be a disaster for Melbourne.
It will generate hundreds of thousands of new car trips and make it impossible to relieve traffic congestion. Its $10 billion price tag is just the beginning of exorbitant costs, as the interstate experience indicates. If the project failed its cost-benefit analysis at $10 billion, what a disaster it will be as the costs spiral out to $12 and $15 and $20 billion.
All the while, we will be haunted by the Melbourne that could have been. Ten billion dollars would build railways to Doncaster, the airport and Rowville, fix all level crossings and restore services to Mildura. You name it, virtually everything on the transport wish list could be done for $10 billion. That is how to create a liveable and sustainable city.
John Cox, Fitzroy, The Age, 14 September 2012