Eastern Freeway tolls loom on “new Lanes”: Signals of death for Doncaster Rail

Tolls could be charged on ”new” lanes on the Eastern Freeway, with a section of the rail reservation down its centre sacrificed for the lanes.

Work on the planned East-West Link from the Eastern Freeway to CityLink will include a ”widening within the existing Eastern Freeway road reservation to Yarra Bend Road to accommodate extra traffic lanes”, state government documents reveal. The documents were lodged with the federal government as part of the environmental approval process.

The Eastern Freeway. Photo: Jason South

The state government has confirmed that part of the rail reservation down the freeway’s centre – protected for more than 35 years for a train line to Doncaster – could be sacrificed for the new lanes.

”The reconfiguration of the lanes on the Eastern Freeway to join into the East-West Link would require some space in the median, but the East-West Link would not preclude the Doncaster rail project and both projects can work together,” a government spokeswoman said.

She said the engineers behind the Doncaster rail study had confirmed that the proposed rail alignment ”shifts to the south of the Eastern Freeway before there would be any conflict with an East-West Link”.

But the Doncaster study report released this month said the alignment would ”follow the Eastern Freeway corridor using the central median where possible”. A study map with the report shows the preferred rail alignment following the freeway all the way to Hoddle Street.

Jason Dowling, The Age, March 28, 2013

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/eastern-freeway-tolls-loom-20130327-2guux.html#ixzz2Os95qFZT

To hear podcast, 3AW Graham Currie, Chair of  Public Transport at Monash University: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/eastern-freeway-tolls-loom-20130327-2guux.html