Council's Rail Submission Highlights Vital Changes

17 Jul 2013

Manningham Council has prepared and provided the study consultant, URS and the State Government with its submission containing Council’s response, comments and suggestions to help guide the finalisation of the Doncaster Rail Study Phase 1 Recommendations Report.

Manningham Mayor Cr Jennifer Yang said Council generally supports the Report’s recommendation for the Rapid Transit Option 1 (RT1) as the preferred route alignment between the Melbourne CBD and Doncaster, including the two proposed stations at Bulleen and Doncaster Park and Ride. Council also supports the alignment of the Rapid Transit Option 2 (RT2) as an alternative connection to the CBD.

“However, in its submission Council has suggested a number of changes and a review of the findings in order to provide the most ideal solution and outcomes to deliver rail to Doncaster.”

Cr Yang said, in particular, it is Council’s view that the following items need to be taken into further consideration by URS and the State Government:

  • Inclusion of an extension of the line to Doncaster Hill, with a station provided at the Hill;
  • Review of the cost to provide a more accurate cost-estimate;
  • Inclusion of a station at Burke Road within either of the Rapid Transit options;
  • Consideration of connections with tram routes 48 (North Balwyn) and 72 (Camberwell);
  • Review of population and station patronage data against the 2011 Census data;
  • Investigation of the grade-separation of buses at Doncaster Hill;
  • Consideration of the findings of the reports by Curtin University (commissioned by Council in 2012);
  • Reconsideration of the closure of Victoria Park Station;
  • Inclusion of more detailed modelling in relation to cycling and pedestrians;
  • Preservation of the median strip of the Eastern Freeway reservation;
  • Consultation with Manningham Council and the DRLGG in the final report process for Phase 1;
  • Further assessment of the capacity improvement opportunities of the Clifton Hill Group lines, to deliver rail to Doncaster and the ‘de-coupling’ of South Morang as a staged approach in that order; and
  • A commitment to proceed with Phase 2 of the Study, focused on Doncaster Rail, with the outcomes to satisfy State Treasury Department and Infrastructure Australia criteria.

Manningham Council also seeks to ensure that bipartisan support is achieved in order to realise the importance of delivering such an important project.

Cr Yang said that aside from the broader municipality needing a mass transit solution, it should be noted that Doncaster Hill will struggle to operate as a successful Principal Activities Area without achieving a 30 per cent mode-shift to more sustainable forms of transport.

“The recent review into the future of traffic, transport and parking management around the Doncaster Hill Activity Centre has identified that when Doncaster Hill is completed there may be traffic congestion in afternoon peak times without a shift to public transport”.

“Without a station on Doncaster Hill, or with an increase in bus services through the Hill, both Doncaster Road and the Doncaster Park and Ride would be under significant pressure.”

“The two minute frequency of buses proposed to feed into the Doncaster Park and Ride cannot be achieved through Doncaster Hill unless roads are grade separated (with buses travelling underground), so there is a real need for the funding of transport infrastructure on Doncaster Hill.”

“Council does not have all the solutions for managing traffic and transport in, around and through Doncaster Hill. We need the State Government, and the traffic and transport agencies, to come to the table and help with long-term future planning and solutions,” she said.