[VIC] St Kilda road to benefit from Cliche strategy

By: Chris Smith

Tram services on St Kilda Road will soon be more reliable, safe and accessible then ever before thanks to a

Tram services on St Kilda Road will soon be more reliable, safe and accessible then ever before thanks to a new strategy to improve tram infrastructure on the iconic Melbourne Boulevard, Minister for Public Transport Lynne Kosky announced.

The St Kilda Road Tram Strategy, part of the Brumby Government’s 10-year, $10.5 billion Meeting Our Transport Challenges action plan, will deliver a comprehensive package of tram infrastructure upgrades from Princes Bridge to St Kilda Junction.

"St Kilda Road is Melbourne’s busiest tram thoroughfare, with approximately one tram arriving every minute and more than 50 million passenger trips a year on St Kilda Road-bound trams," Kosky says.

"As the spine of Melbourne’s tram network, it is vitally important trams can move safely and efficiently through St Kilda Road at all times of the day – which is why we are embarking on this landmark tram strategy."

The first stage of the project will include the construction of a 69-metre section of third track outside the Arts Centre, which will allow ‘through’ trams to run efficiently even in the event of a breakdown.

Kosky says that once this section was complete, turning tracks will be constructed at Southbank Boulevard and the Domain Interchange stop to allow turning trams to do so without delaying trams behind them. A major tram stop upgrade along the length of St Kilda Road will follow.

"Stage one of the project is expected to cost $8.2 million. Work will begin by mid-2008, with the major components of the strategy due for completion by late 2009," she says.

"Of course, we will work closely with the City of Melbourne and the City of Port Phillip throughout the project to ensure the iconic streetscape of St Kilda Road is maintained."

Yarra Trams Chief Executive Officer Dennis Cliche says he was pleased to be delivering this project on behalf of State Government, for the benefit of Melbourne tram passengers and all users of St Kilda Road.

"There are 10 key tram routes in operation on St Kilda Road, but the efficiency of these routes impacts about 40 percent of all tram services on the network," Cliche says.

"The construction of a third track and turning lanes will have a significant impact on tram journey times and reliability, which is good news for tram users throughout the city."

He also says the replacement of safety zones with platform stops will greatly improve safety for people getting on and off trams along this busy stretch of road.

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