As we are aware, Infrastructure Australia will make its decision in March 2012 on the Baillieu Government’s request for another #30 million in funding for yet another feasibility study on the East West Link. This means that the 2008 East West Tunnel Link and Toll Road is again on the political agenda.
If funded this will be the third study following the Northern Central City Corridor Study (2003) and the Eddington Review (2008), on which this new study will be based on.
Nothing has changed since 2008 – as originally envisaged the East West Tunnel Link and Toll Road will connect the Eastern Freeway’s Hoddle Street intersection to Alexander Parade and into the East West Tunnel creating a continuous freeway from the Eastern to the western Suburbs of Melbourne. This will include the construction of a large interchange at Hoddle Street to handle divergent traffic movements.
Roads are car magnates and new roads very quickly attract more cars thus becoming equally congested. This is not about improved commuter travel times or relieving traffic congestion as we will be told (yet again) it is about freight transport and this will bring Double and Triple Bs into the inner suburbs.
The objective is still to facilitate freight transport between the Hastings and Melbourne Ports just as it was in 2008. It is not about commuters or public transport though arguments will be made that this will increase rapid bus transport on the Eastern Freeway – remember we already have that!
It means yet again the potential loss of the Fitzroy Swimming pool and around 30 homes on Alexander Parade with a significantly greater number of homes lost in he West. It represents the loss of public open space and the destruction of parklands in the northern and western suburbs. It will also increase congestion, pollution and through traffic in the City of Yarra and the Northern and Western Suburbs.
It will specifically affect local roads in Yarra and via the link roads intersecting or adjacent to Alexander Parade. Rat runners will proliferate.
The loss of homes and neighbours will have a devastating impact on the cultural amenity of the local area, the City of Yarra and the Western Suburbs. These areas are our home and we will fight to preserve our village communities.
There is no other city in the world that has a freeway dissecting its inner suburbs or running within three kilometers of the Central Business District. In fact, England, Europe, Canada and North America are actively moving cars out of their inner suburbs. Something is serious wrong with transport policy and governance in Victoria!
Ycat is actively campaigning to raise public awareness and ensure community opposition to this project. The campaign is as upfront, public and as significant as the 2008 campaign, which successively stalled the project and stopped the tunnel. The community has done it once and we will do it again!
Currently we are actively working with our member groups, individuals, the City of Yarra and political parties to facilitate the renewal of the No East West Tunnel Link and Toll Road. We are supporting the Royal Park Protection Group Inc. who on Tuesday, 28 March 2012 will represent Ycat and member groups, individuals and the community at a meeting with Minister Albanese’s Chief Adviser for Roads. Julianne Bell and a PPL VIC colleague are traveling to Canberra to do this. They will present a case “against funding the East West Link and advocate for improved funding for public transport projects including the Doncaster Rail Link”.
We are supporting The Greens petition for “sustainable public transport that is accessible and affordable for everyone” as alternative to The East West Link. “The petition calls upon the federal government to fund better public transport, not private roads and tunnels through Melbourne and surrounding suburbs”. It is sponsored by Greens MP Adam Bandt and will be tabled in the federal parliament.
It is important that all member groups read the Ycat posts, respond directly to them, and remember sign the petition.