BAV concerned over EWLNA recommendations

By: Chris Smith


The Bus and Coach Association of Victoria (BAV) is concerned with the recommendations of the Sir Rod Eddington East West

The Bus and Coach Association of Victoria (BAV) is concerned with the recommendations of the Sir Rod Eddington East West Link Needs Assessment (EWLNA) report tabled to the Victorian Government.

BAV spokesperson Chris Loader says the recommendations represent a welcome transformational change for Melbourne’s public transport but is critical of the lack of regard for transport pricing reform and questions the package’s compatibility with meeting stricter emissions and renewable energy targets.

"We are concerned the recommendations appear to have been framed without regard to the impacts of transport pricing reform — something Sir Rod believes inevitable in the lifetime of the new infrastructure," explains Loader.

"We are also not convinced the full package is compatible with the urgent need to cut greenhouse emissions and reduce our oil dependency — the report assumes little change to our high levels of car dependence."

Loader says while Meeting our Transport Challenges provided a good start and Eddington has built on this in the east-west corridor, large areas of Melbourne remain without a comprehensive transport plan.

"Melbourne now needs a comprehensive metropolitan transport plan that fully addresses the challenges of climate change and peak oil," he says.

For the bus industry in Melbourne, the report recognises bus rapid transit can provide greatly enhanced public transport in the Doncaster corridor — much sooner and at a fraction of the cost of rail says Loader.

"We look forward to working with government to deliver improved bus services in the Doncaster corridor and elsewhere," he says.

"We also welcome the endorsement of much greater on-road priority for buses, though higher frequencies across Melbourne’s bus network are also essential — especially to feed the rail system where car parks are overflowing."

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