Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Doncaster Rail Study: Options divide community

I often think about the prospect of rail to Doncaster and often for me it doesn’t seem to make sense. One argument is we are the only municipality without a heavy rail line. Does that really matter? We have a line to Eltham to the North and a line to Box Hill to the South. I’m sure there are other areas around Melbourne that need to travel further to their rail line in a municipality that has one.

Where is the parking? Parking at existing stations is inadequate so are we to expect parking at new stations will magically be any better. Certainly paid parking at Shoppingtown would kill parking in that area for train travel and free parking would create a conflict with paid parking at Shoppingtown.

Interestingly I thought the comment was probably the best aspect of the article. The commenter suggested a light rail (tram) from Doncaster to Box Hill. That made me think about the Balwyn tram line and how it finishes in the middle of nowhere. On a Sunday to get from the end of the tram line to Shoppingtown can take hours between buses. That simply doesn’t make sense. That isn’t a public transport system that people will use.

Why not extend the Balwyn line to Shoppingtown and then to Box Hill to create a loop.

For me the missing element of public transport is a bus from The Pines in Doncaster East along Foote Street, Templestowe Road to Heidelberg Station. As it is now the delays caused by multiple buses means it isn’t a timely way to travel yet it would knock of a considerable amount of time having to go to Eltham first.

The biggest bottleneck is the bridge joining Bulleen and Heidelberg. If the Greensborough ring road was extended to East Link much of the traffic would be removed from that area making it much better for public transport. As it is now, buses are delayed with the heavy traffic.

What is really missing is for politicians to use public transport. If they did we’d have the best system in the world. As it is they make decisions on public transport they wouldn’t even use themselves. Force politicians to use public transport and we’d get some real world decisions being made.

Ultimately however JustLocal is about getting people to think about doing more locally. Do we really need a heavy rail system? If we put the same amount of thought and funding to create local jobs the need for heavy rail systems to the area and for much of the car traffic is reduced. Remember according to council figures only 15% of people regularly use public transport which means 85% don’t use public transport.

Next time you’re thinking about buying a product service think about buying local. Make sure you don’t get tricked by businesses outside the area with bigger advertising budgets. Use a local business. Buy locally if you can. Build a stronger local community and we’ll reduce our impact on the environment, save time and resources and heavy rail just won’t seem so important.

MANNINGHAM residents have failed to back any one of the three rail options proposed by the Doncaster Rail Study.... Read More

- Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problems.
No problem too small.

No comments: