Investing in better public transport and other sustainable means of transport means less cars on our roads, less congestion and a smaller carbon footprint for our city. Another freeway will create more carbon pollution, increase traffic congestion, and destroy local amenity for the communities that will be affected by the tunnel’s construction.
The Doncaster Rail project would carry an estimated 100,000 passengers per day and take 800 cars per train off congested roads. This equates to each train removing a 3.7 km lane of traffic. Doncaster Rail could be built at a fraction of the cost of the Tunnel. This estimation of 100,000 passengers per day would not only enable a 20 minute journey to the CBD, but substantially ease vehicle congestion on the Eastern Freeway, Hoddle Street and other arterials north and east of the CBD.
One of the greatest challenges facing the 21st century is the challenge of climate change. We cannot tackle climate change by building more roads. By all means let us build transport infrastructure- let’s be a nation of builders- but let it be public transport infrastructure. We cannot build our way out of congestion. We have been trying it for years and it does not work.
For years we have been told that one more freeway would solve Melbourne’s traffic congestion problems. I supported City Link, I supported East Link, I supported the Metropolitan Ring Road, I supported the Craigieburn By-pass. But it never works. As many studies around the world have shown, freeways generate new traffic and new trips.So it would be better to put public money into public transport. This will do more to help traffic congestion, more to contain carbon emissions, and more to help people who don’t drive cars, for example younger people, older people and people with disabilities.