ABC News: East West Link: Government claims traffic study demonstrates faster travel times. by state political reporter Alison Savage. Wed 6 Aug 2014
The Victorian Government claims the East West Link will shave around half an hour off the average travel times along the eastern part of the road.
New traffic modelling showed it currently took an average of 34 minutes and sometimes as long as 47 minutes to get from the Eastern Freeway to Citylink along Alexandra Parade in the morning peak.
In the afternoon peak it could take up to 63 minutes to make the reverse journey, with an average time of 41 minutes.
The Government said once the East West Link was built, it would save on average 27 minutes in the morning peak and 33 minutes in the afternoon.
Victorian Premier Denis Napthine said the road would help tackle significant congestion around the city.
“It can take over an hour to drive from the 10 kilometres from the bottom of the Tullamarine Freeway, through to the Eastern Freeway in the PM peak,” Dr Napthine said.
“Many people, including those at the Commonwealth Games, were certainly running faster than that.
“The East West Link will decongest Alexandra Parade, take traffic of Alexandra Parade and also improve public transport services on those north-south tram routes.”
The survey was done in May this year and is based on an estimate that 80,000 cars will use the road every day in 2019.
Transport Minister Terry Mulder said people who use the toll road will notice a big difference.
“People who are going to use that road going to and from work on a daily basis can bank almost five hours a week,” he said.
“That’s time at home with their family. For tradesmen, that’s time on the job rather than sitting in their vans, and for major transport companies, it is going to make an enormous difference.”
The eastern and western sections of the road will cost around $18 billion and both sections will be tolled.
But the Government would not be drawn on the how much the tolls will cost, citing commercial confidentiality.
The Government has not released the final route for the Western section of the road.
Time saving is ‘illusory’ says public transport advocate
Tony Morton, the president of the Public Transport Users Association, said the Government was trying to pull the wool over the public’s eyes.
“The time saving that they’re seeing is actually a completely illusory concept based on an assumption that doesn’t hold in reality,” he said.
“There is no city in the world that has an inner urban motorway equivalent to the East West Link that actually allows you to travel 8 kilometres in eight minutes as they’re suggesting.”
Mr Morton says the toll road will be of marginal benefit to most motorists.
“There are all sorts of projects that you could spend $18 billion on that will actually have much greater benefit to the day-to-day travel of people in Melbourne,” he said.