Roads to nowhere – by William McDougall
YCAT hosts complete copies of the Eddington Investing in Transport Report (2008) and the Norther Central City Corridor Study (2001) that are referenced in the article below. We do this in the hope that one day transport planning will be evidenced based and not corrupted by monopolistic corporate interests. Neither study is available on any Victorian Government web site, despite being publicly funded.
by William McDougall
Victoria’s politicians have thrown away the benefits of the state’s stamp duty bonanza and the proceeds from the Port of Melbourne sale over recent years by investing in politically motivated, badly conceived road projects.They have also delayed and dumbed down vital public transport projects.
All of this has been for purely political reasons, yet it hasn’t even delivered political success: the last two state elections have been lost on transport grounds. The next could go the same way.
With a price tag of $5.5 billion and a promise to reduce congestion, the West Gate Tunnel project is an ambitious one. But does it stack up?
We in the real world have known for years that building more roads generates more traffic and worsens congestion. For this reason, Melbourne’s growth and economic success is best served by putting public transport first, not last.
Last Friday, as the end of the year approached, the government released the heavily redacted contract with Transurban for the West Gate Tunnel. It will cost Victorians billions, unnecessarily, and yet it is just the latest in a string of foolish road projects this state has embarked on.
Over 18 months from 2001, I oversaw the Northern Central City Corridor Study for the Bracks Labor government. This major investigation by the state showed that investing in public transport properly would avoid the need for new roads in the north, including the East West Link.Then, in 2007, I was among those advising Sir Rod Eddington on his East West Link Needs Assessment. Continue Reading…