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Council responds to Doncaster Rail study
14 March 2013
Yarra Mayor, Cr Jackie Fristacky today welcomed the long awaited release of the Doncaster Rail study but at the same time expressed concern that the recommendations could create a fragmented rail solution.
The Doncaster Rail Study Phase One Report details the findings of an independent study team’s investigations into what it considers the best route for a Doncaster rail line.
It recommends an alignment for the Doncaster rail line which follows the Eastern Freeway from the Doncaster Park-and-Ride to the existing Hurstbridge line at Victoria Park, Collingwood and into the city.
Mayor Fristacky said it was pleasing that the study reinforced the need for a Doncaster Rail for which Yarra Council has long advocated to ease traffic congestion in inner Melbourne and especially Hoddle Street. She also acknowledged the Premier and Minister for Transport’s public support for the project and commitment to working towards stage 2 of the project.
She said however it was disappointing that the report recommended terminating the line at the Doncaster Park and Ride car park rather than continue some 2 kilometres on to service the rapidly expanding major activity centre at Doncaster Hill. She argued it was essential to link a Doncaster Rail to urban planning for this major activity centre.
"I’d also question why the report recommends undergrounding the South Morang line from Clifton Hill to the CAD when this was not part of the terms of reference or original consultation with council and the community," she said.
Council believes the 600,000-plus people who live in the Doncaster region and beyond in Melbourne’s east need a better choice for travel to the CAD rather than being forced to drive, exacerbating poor air quality and congestion.
Cr Fristacky said it would make more sense to have a continuous rail journey from Doncaster to the CAD through the Carlton / Parkville precinct rather than link via the loop which would be less efficient, with a longer travel time, being a major disincentive for commuters to change modes.
"People would lose patience with having to take three trains to get from Doncaster to the university and hospital precinct," Cr Fristacky said.
Rapid population and employment growth is impacting existing traffic congestion along key transport routes through Yarra.
"It makes more sense to have a single interchange linked to Clifton Hill or Victoria Park where all modes of transport are connected providing commuters with the best and broadest range of travel options,” concluded Cr Fristacky.
The next steps include planning for community consultation to take place as soon as possible so that Council can provide an informed response to the draft report. Council will liaise with other councils continue to advocate for Doncaster Rail to enhance productivity, support growth and provide for a sustainable future for Yarra and Victoria.
For further information go to www.doncasterrailstudy.com
Trains Not Tolls - March 2013 (445.60 KB)
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