Vic toll road opponents call for answers

Nine MSN: Vic toll road opponents call for answers. March 12, 2014

East-West Link opponents say managers of the multi-billion dollar project are failing to spell out how the toll road will benefit Victorians.

The opponents set up a mock fortune teller and handed out fortune cookies outside public hearings staged by project managers, Linking Melbourne Authority, on Wednesday.
The Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) wants the committee assessing the project to reject it, but say its task is impossible because the Linking Melbourne Authority is failing to provide clear answers about the impact of the toll road.

“We’ve got a panel in here that’s being asked to assess a plan that isn’t yet finished,” PTUA president Tony Morton said.

“The point we’re making here is you might as well consult a fortune teller.

“We’ve actually seen some numbers out of the Linking Melbourne Authority’s chief modeller who came in last week and explained how by 2031, a decade after the road is built, we’re going to see just as much traffic in Alexandra Parade as we do now.

“Is it really worth spending $8 billion, just to get a temporary reduction in traffic and then recreate the same problem with more road space and more cars and carry us more in the direction of car-dependent American cities?”

The Victorian government has said the toll road will cut traffic congestion by about a third on a key access route into the city.

It hopes to start building the $8 billion stage one, which will connect the Eastern Freeway to Melbourne’s western suburbs, this year and have it finished by 2019.

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