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Labor’s long-term vision leaves 215,000 stranded in the West

Aug 30, 2018

While Victorian Labor’s plan for a rail loop is a bold long-term vision, it does nothing for the 215,000 people in Melbourne’s West who currently have no walking-distance access to public transport.

“Long-term plans are a worthy and welcome goal of any government, but there are urgent transport needs that should be addressed first,” said Councillor Jonathon Marsden, Chair of the Western Transport Alliance.

“The Government could make a huge difference to people’s lives within months, not decades. $300 million funding has been allocated to planning for the rail loop. With the same amount money Labor could commit to any of the following critical transport projects in Melbourne’s West:

  • 11 new bus routes for five years^ immediately giving 215,000 people access to public transport.
  • ½ of the electrification of the Regional Rail link* from Sunshine to Wyndham Vale, a chronically overcrowded line (total cost $600 million).
  • ¾ of the electrification of the Ballarat Line* from Sunshine to Melton providing the first proper suburban rail service for over 170,000 people who live along this route right now (total cost $400 million).

“25% of Melbourne’s West currently have no walking-distance public transport, and this is set to only get worse with the Andrews’ government planning only for marginal seats in the outer eastern and northern suburbs.

“The population of the West is set to grow to over 1.8 million by 2050, so planning for that needs to start now.

“Ahead of the November election we are calling on all sides of politics for a strong commitment to invest in the transport needs of Melbourne’s West. The West is the fastest growing region of Victoria, and our MPs must show they are ready for the next 1.8 million Victorians,” said Councillor Marsden.

^$6 per km travelled, 20km length, approx. 20 min frequency, 7 days a week, 6am-10pm.
*Cost estimates from the Rail Futures Institute

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