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Yarra welcomes Federal support for Melbourne Metro rail project
05 April 2013
Yarra Mayor, Cr Jackie Fristacky, has welcomed comments from Federal Infrastructure Minister, Anthony Albanese, in support of the proposed $9 billion Melbourne Metro rail project.
The Minister, quoted in today’s Age stating that the nine kilometre tunnel was “ready to build”, foreshadowed a significant contribution from the Commonwealth Government.
“This is excellent news as it is a project that Yarra Council has strongly advocated for along with the Doncaster Rail project,” Mayor Fristacky said.
“Council voted unanimously in February to write to the Prime Minister, to Minister Albanese and to other senior government members expressing Council’s support for the proposed Melbourne Metro rail project.
“We are looking to both the State and Federal governments to allocate funding for construction of the Melbourne Metro in their budgets due to be released in May,” she said.
Cr Fristacky said Yarra Council strongly supported public transport solutions ahead of more roads and freeways given the superiority of public transport in terms of economic value, congestion reduction, equity of travel and benefits to the environment.
“Doncaster rail is a major priority for this Council, but we also recognise the significance of the Melbourne Metro rail project and other public transport solutions, as opposed to more freeways through inner Melbourne.
“Freeways through urban areas might seem a simple solution, but in fact, bring more road traffic to exacerbate congestion at freeway off-ramps, and roads and intersections around freeways,” she said.
“Melbourne Metro will not only help free up our existing rail network, it will enable more train services and encourage more people out of cars, off local roads and onto public transport.
“Shifting more people onto rail through the Melbourne Metro is identified as offering the capacity equivalent to 100 lanes of freeways. Hence the Metro project is a win for drivers as well as for rail passengers."
Melbourne Metro is a proposed new nine-kilometre, twin rail tunnel between South Kensington and South Yarra which includes five new underground stations to be located at North Melbourne, Parkville, CBD North, CBD South and Domain.
While it will not run through Yarra, the project is considered critical to easing congestion in the whole inner city because it would accommodate more than 24,000 extra passengers an hour (up from the current 55,000 passengers to 89,000 an hour).
“The Melbourne Metro project would also potentially be a connection for a Doncaster Rail Line to take services through to the Melbourne University/hospital precinct and on to the CBD.”
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