Friday, August 2, 2013

Tunnel is a White Elephant

Daniel Andrews is right in opposing the multi-billion dollar Tunnel. This money would be better spent on improving public transport infrastructure, frequency and reliability. This money should go towards building a railway line to Doncaster along the Eastern Freeway, building a rail link to Monash University, and extending the Epping rail line.
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.


  1. So what is the justification for this tunnel? Where is the complete business plan? Or the full costing and not simply the initial $8 billion, as it will cost much more. How will it benefit the western and northern suburbs or is it yet another example of the state government's bias to Liberal seats and class warfare? We need better public transport but the state government has other priorities although between Messrs Napthine and Abbott they have not agreed on said priorities

  2. The business plan is to increase road traffic for business supply chains and make Melbourne a big hub for exported and imported goods. More likely it will be for all the imported goods, from Asia! Melbourne Airport CEO says that over the next 20 years they will be investing billions of dollars transforming the airport and creating jobs and supporting the State's road strategy. This means more rail and road links all over Melbourne. Trading along Australia's coast to be crewed by Australian citizens, permanent residents or workers with appropriate work visas, making it is cheaper for some states to import goods rather than ship them from other Australian states. The main reason for the East West link is not public commuters, who would prefer public transport, but business corporations who want better services, and a bigger customer base. This big economic growth plan must be paid for, by the tax-payers of Victoria.

  3. As a tax payer and road user I support the building of the tunnel. It is a logical extension of the EastLink system and will improve access to the west and whilst reducing local road congestion.
    I may be a lone voice but at least I'm not being one of the silent majority