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West welcomes rail loop, but buses more urgent

Aug 28, 2018

Regional advocacy group LeadWest has welcomed today’s Melbourne Rail Loop announcement but has called for investment in more urgent, unmet transport needs of Melbourne’s West.

Ahead of the November state election, LeadWest is seeking commitment to a frequent, reliable and fast regional bus network for the West, which would help to address the lack of cross-city connections much sooner, and at a far smaller cost.

“Today’s announcement sets a bold vision for the long-term future of transport in Melbourne, but what the West really needs is better transport infrastructure that will help us here and now,” said Councillor Jonathon Marsden, Chair of the Western Transport Alliance.

“At present, only three percent of people working in the West use public transport to get to work, and a quarter of the West’s population have no walking-distance access to public transport at all.

“Investment in a high-quality bus network for the West, including better coordination of existing services, would help to address these challenges within five years, rather than waiting 30 years for a public transport option to get around our region.”

LeadWest is also calling for several more urgent rail projects to be prioritised ahead of the new Rail Loop, including the Metro 2 tunnel linking Melbourne’s East with Newport and Werribee; electrification of the Ballarat line to Melton and Regional Rail Link line to Wyndham Vale; and better transport links into the Defence site in Maribyrnong.

“The West needs timely investment, both for the one in six Melburnians who already live here, as well as to prepare for the extra 1 million residents we will take on in the next 30 years.

“Without immediate investment in projects that have been on the books for years, our region’s lack of transport will become a significant burden for both the State and the Nation.”

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