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

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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.

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