Liberal and Labor put forward transport plans that they say will improve transport options for trucks and motorists in Melbourne’s west

[ A+ ] /[ A- ]

Maribyrnong Leader: Liberal and Labor put forward transport plans that they say will improve transport options for trucks and motorists in Melbourne’s west. Bridie Byrne. 4 November 2014

Protester Addi, 11 on the corner of Williamstown Rd and Francis St, Yarraville.

Getting trucks off suburban streets is shaping to be a key issue at the polls for Footscray electorate voters at the November 29 state election.

Liberal and Labor have put forward transport plans that they say will improve transport options for trucks and motorists. Bridie Byrne breaks down each plan.

Liberal

East West Link

How much will it cost?

The western section will cost $8-10 billion.

When will it be built?

Detailed planning on the western section is now under way including site investigations, design work, community engagement and planning approvals. Construction is expected to start by the end of 2015 and be complete by 2023.

Why is it needed?

The East West Link is an 18km cross-city road, extending across Melbourne from the Eastern Freeway to the Western Ring Rd.

The East West Link will help to reduce congestion and will provide significant travel time savings for people travelling across the city.

What will it do?

Provide capacity for around 100,000 vehicles per day. Provide a 15-20 minute time saving for people travelling from Geelong, Werribee, Altona and Laverton to the city.

Cut 15-20 minutes off a typical trip from the freight and logistics precinct in Truganina in Melbourne’s west to the Port of Melbourne. Create up to 3000 jobs during construction.

Reduce noise and air pollution in the western suburbs and make local roads safer by providing a freeway option for thousands of trucks that use local streets of the inner west every day.

PROS:

■ Vital additional river crossing

■ Improved travel times across northern and eastern Melbourne

■ Relieves pressure and reduces reliance on the Monash Freeway – West Gate Freeway (M1) corridor

■ Reduces rat running on local streets

■ Boosts statewide productivity, reduces business costs and improves industry competitiveness

CONS:

■ Stage one doesn’t connect to the Port area

■ The project is only one small piece of the puzzle and there is a lot more to be done to ensure efficiency of the entire network

■ Consideration for local residents hasn’t been addressed yet

– Victorian Transport Association chief executive Peter Anderson

Labor

West Gate Distributor

How much will it cost?

Between $400-$500 million

When will it be built?

The expressions of interest for the West Gate Distributor will be released by Australia Day with the project out to market within the first six months of Labor forming government. It will be built by 2018.

Why is it needed?

The road project will get trucks off the West Gate Bridge, improving safety for drivers and reducing congestion. Around 5000 trucks a day will no longer travel over the West Gate Bridge, delivering significant improvements for commuters.

What will it do?

Construction of the West Gate Distributor will create West Gate Freeway on-and-off ramps and an elevated road along Hyde St, upgrade and duplicate Whitehall St between Francis St and Somerville Rd and strengthen Shepherd Bridge.

The project will remove trucks from residential streets in the inner west, improving safety and reducing noise pollution for the community.

Cars will also be able to use the distributor, providing an alternative route across the Maribyrnong River.

PROS:

■ May reduce rat running on local streets

■ May remove up to 5000 trucks a day off the bridge

■ Potential added lane in each direction on the Westgate Freeway

■ Eliminates the need to cross the Yarra

■ Less wear and tear on the roads

■ Eases weight on the West Gate Bridge

CONS:

■ Could be seen to promote heavy vehicle travel on local roads

■ Proposed route consists of single lane roads and it isn’t clear whether the additional components related to local road upgrades and bridge strengthening will be delivered at the same time

■ More tolls for motorists

■ Merge may create a bottleneck in the vicinity of the Williamstown Rd interchange

■ Multiple bottlenecks on smaller grade roads

– Victorian Transport Association chief executive Peter Anderson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *