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Melbourne's Transport Future - PDF by Intheaters

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									 Melbourne’s Transport
        Future
A submission to the Victorian Government from
elected representatives in the northern suburbs
       Kelvin Thomson MP, Federal Member for Wills
        Carlo Carli MP, State Member for Brunswick




                      14 July, 2008
Melbourne’s Transport Future



Transport & Our
Community
Since the release of the East West Needs Assessment Study Report there
has been a vigorous debate over its recommendations.

There is a very strong community view that:
      Action is needed to meet demand for sustainable transport services
      Action is needed to address social disadvantage
      Action is needed to ensure that the transport sector makes a
      contribution to meeting ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction
      targets

Our community has told us via
public               meetings,
conversations in the shops,
on the street corners, via
phone, letter and email and
on the internet that their
priority is for a better
sustainable transport network.
They want better public
transport     networks     that
provide real access and
choice.     They want better
walking       and      cycling
infrastructure to cater for
people who walk and cycle to
work, to shop and to socialise.               Community Meeting about the East West Transport
                                            Recommendations, Brunswick Town Hall, April 13, 2008
Our community has told us
that they see the construction of an east-west road tunnel as inconsistent with
the above goals. As Kelvin Thomson MP told the Commonwealth Parliament,
      The greatest challenge facing the 21st century is the challenge of climate change.
      We cannot tackle climate change by building more roads. By all means let us build
      more transport infrastructure—let’s be a nation of builders—but let it be public
      transport infrastructure, let it be for trains, trams and buses. We cannot build our way
      out of congestion. We have been trying it for years and it does not work.


Our community does not believe that building a road tunnel is consistent with
an approach to reduce transport emissions, manage congestion or encourage
transport choice.

Our community is asking for a new approach - a 21st century approach to
transport policy. One which focuses on addressing social disadvantage, on
providing transport choice and giving people access to sustainable transport
options.

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                                                    Melbourne’s Transport Future



Our community is looking upon government to make the right political choices
for the 21st century.

We call upon the state government to advance a transport action plan for
metropolitan Melbourne in response to the Eddington Report which:

      Acts to boost much needed rail capacity in inner Melbourne via the
      construction of a rail tunnel as outlined in the Eddington Report
      Maps out a vision for the future development of Melbourne’s
      sustainable transport network
      Addresses transport disadvantage by providing mobility and choice –
      especially in outer Melbourne
      Reaffirms the 20/2020 target – 20 percent of all journeys by public
      transport in metropolitan Melbourne by 2020
      Increases the proportion of freight carried on rail, including a strategy
      for metropolitan rail shuttle services
      Accelerates smart bus improvements and upgrades the minimum bus
      service standards, and,
      Addresses the need for the transport sector to make a major
      contribution to meeting Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction
      target.

We also call on the state government to rule out proceeding with a cross city
road tunnel and to invest first in public transport, other sustainable transport
modes and transport demand management.




                                                                              3
Melbourne’s Transport Future



Transport policy – a
political question
In May 2006 then Premier of Victoria, Steve Bracks, released Meeting Our
Transport Challenges (MOTC), an ambitious program of transport
infrastructure investment in Victoria. One element of MOTC was the
announcement that an East West Needs Assessment, to look at transport in
this corridor, would be conducted by Sir Rod Eddington to report in 2008.

Since the announcement of MOTC the transport sector has been
characterised by rapid change involving:
      Rapid growth in public transport patronage – 25 percent in the last two
      financial years on the metropolitan train network alone
      Rapidly increasing price of petrol
      A substantial body of research and government reports into
      congestion, the causes of congestion and their Victorian context
      New demographic figures revealing faster than previously expected
      population growth
      Election of the Rudd Federal Government with a renewed interest in
      funding for urban public transport projects

This rapid change has affected the environment in which the East West
Needs Assessments study team conducted its work. It is no exaggeration
that since 2006 – in terms of the political and policy environment in transport -
the world has changed.

What was conceived as a technical analysis of transport needs in the east
west study area has become outdated. Victorians are looking towards the
state government to outline a vision for transport in metropolitan Melbourne –
every suburb, every postcode.

Hence transport policy is, as it has arguably always been, a question of
political decisions – not accounting, or engineering.

We get the city we plan for. We get the city we build.

The political choices are stark – what is our vision for Melbourne?

Is it a business as usual vision, with an expanding network of freeways, a
public transport system which struggles to keeps up with demand, and with
walking and cycling playing only a peripheral role?

Or can we choose something different? A city where public transport,
walking and cycling have a significant role along side the private motor car. A
city with world class public transport links into the suburbs and where cycling
and walking play a major role in transport around activity centres. A healthy
city – a liveable city.

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                                                 Melbourne’s Transport Future



These are our choices. They are political and as elected representatives we
believe that the latter choice is the more responsible choice.

Summary of Recommendations, or choices:

Choice 1: That the Victorian Government, in framing a response to the
East West Needs Assessment report, ensure that the top priority is
addressing public transport provision in the areas of metropolitan
Melbourne that suffer from transport poverty, and social exclusion.

Choice 2: We recommend that the Victorian Government implements
recommendations 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 of the East West Link Needs
Assessment, and in addition that the Victorian Government prioritises
the implementation of recommendation 1 (rail tunnel) over other major
infrastructure projects.

Choice 3: We recommend that the Victorian Government continues to
invest in improving walking and cycling links across Metropolitan
Melbourne, particularly in and around principal and major activity
centres

Choice 4: We recommend that the Victorian Government in particular
implements recommendation 7 of the East West Link Needs
Assessment – cross city cycle links, in consultation with stakeholders
such as Bicycle Victoria to ensure that outcomes are maximised.

Choice 5: We recommend that the Victorian Government accelerate the
implementation of the Smart Bus network.

Choice 6: We recommend that the Victorian Government begins
planning and design for new rapid transit bus services, such as some
suggested by the Bus Association of Victoria including services such as
the CBD to Latrobe Uni, Hampton to Pakenham, extend 900 to Ferntree
Gully, Caroline Springs to City.

Choice 7: We recommend that the Victorian Government progressively
improves the MOTC bus service standards so that by 2012 they match
the span (or service hours) of the train and tram network.

Choice 8: We recommend that the Victorian Government takes
advantage of opportunities that arise with the construction of the east
west rail tunnel to increase peak services on the Upfield line, especially
AM peak services

Choice 9: We recommend that the Victorian Government prioritises
grade separation of the Glenroy railway crossing in its upcoming
transport plan


                                                                           5
Melbourne’s Transport Future



Choice 10: We recommend that the Victorian Government gives effect to
MOTC action 4, and adds to tram rolling stock.

Choice 11: We recommend that the Victorian Government maintains
policies that advances modal shift for freight – up to 30 percent of
freight onto rail.


Choice 12: We recommend that the Victorian Government continues to
promote opportunities for the development of intermodal facilities, and
encourages more freight in the Port of Melbourne to travel to
metropolitan destinations by rail.

Choice 13: We strongly recommend that the Victorian Government does
not proceed with recommendation 4 of the East West Needs
Assessment Report.       We strongly recommend that the Victorian
government should adopt a hierarchy of actions in dealing with
congestion for corridors.

This hierarchy of action is:

1) Develop walking, cycling and public transport networks within that
   corridor to enable real transport choice (supply side options)
2) Implement transport demand management measures such as
   reduction in parking, road space management and the like
3) Consider road based measures such as redesign of intersections,
   expanding road space etc as a last resort.




6
                                                    Melbourne’s Transport Future


      st
21 Century Choices:
What must be done.
We choose a future for Melbourne that has balanced transport choices,
addresses social disadvantage and ensures that the urban transport sector
makes a contribution to greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Meeting Our Transport Challenges (MOTC) – announced in 2006 – now looks
in 2008 as outdated. It underestimated the explosion of public transport use in
the last three years. It is largely catch up for decades of neglect. Yet despite
this MOTC has put us on target to meet our 20/2020 goal.

A new package – MOTC 2 - is needed. Some possible major initiatives
include:
       Develop and implement plans to deliver a once in a generation boost
       to rail capacity in inner Melbourne – the rail tunnel
       Accelerate rail capacity and expansion in key growth corridors (ie
       South Morang, Tarneit etc.)
       A rail extension along the Eastern Freeway to Doncaster
       Construction of a rail line from Huntingdale to Rowville
       Duplication of the single track sections of the Belgrave and Lilydale
       lines
       New bus service standards: expanding the span of hours and
       frequencies of all bus services to equivalent of that of trains.
       Accelerate the rollout of Smart Bus and plan for new SmartBus routes
       (CBD to Latrobe Uni, Hampton to Pakenham, extend 900 to Ferntree
       Gully, Caroline Springs to City etc)
       Improve tram priority and work with local government to address
       bottlenecks and delays in the tram network
       Complete and then expand the principal bicycle network




                                                                              7
Melbourne’s Transport Future



Social Exclusion &
Transport
The role that transport policy plays in dealing with social disadvantage is
better understood now than it was in the past. Transport policy is no longer
just about the movement of goods or the efficient operation of labour markets.
The availability of affordable and accessible transport plays a critical role in
addressing dimensions of social exclusion by linking people to employment,
social networks, education, health and other services. Where people are
‘transport disadvantaged’, they are at risk of social exclusion and by
extension, poverty.

According to the Victorian Council of Social Services…

    An individual or community’s level of transport disadvantage is affected by:
        • availability of transport options – access to a car or public transport services
            which connect to desired destinations;
        • affordability – cost of car ownership, petrol or public transport fares relative to
            available income;
        • personal mobility – people with disabilities, the elderly, people with health issues
            and young children may require assistance or be unable to use transport options
            available due to physical or cognitive constraints; and
        • useability – ability to safely travel, perceptions of risk and quality of information
            available on transport options.

It is essential that a Victorian Government response recognises the need to
address social exclusion, and the need to address the challenges of fuel
insecurity, climate change and the health effects of both isolation and
inactivity.

Choice 1: That the Victorian Government, in framing a response to the
East West Needs Assessment report, ensure that the top priority is
addressing public transport provision in the areas of metropolitan
Melbourne that suffer from transport poverty, and social exclusion.




8
                                                     Melbourne’s Transport Future



Climate Change
While it remains difficult to accurately measure the economic effects of
congestion, we can estimate that traffic delays and interruptions to traffic flow
in Australia’s six major cities account for approximately 13 million tonnes of
greenhouse gases per annum. This figure is comprised of 10.5 million tones
of CO2 emissions and emissions of other gases such as methane, nitrous
oxide and ozone precursors, having a possible warming contribution
equivalent to a further 2.5 million tonnes of CO2. This level of emissions is
around 17% of the annual greenhouse gas emissions due to Australian
domestic transport, or about 3% of net Australian greenhouse emissions from
all sectors.

Of the approximate 10.5 million tonnes of CO2 emitted per year as a result of
congestion, Melbourne contributes around 2.9 million tonnes per annum.

Cars and trucks contribute close to 90% of transport emissions.

Carbon emissions from public transport are far lower than those produced by
motor vehicles. Diesel trains, such as those run by V/Line, are the least
polluting form of transport per person per kilometre with 8 grams of CO2 per
km per person. This is followed by electric trains (14g), ethanol bus (19),
diesel bus (22) and electric tram (52). However the emissions of electric
trains and buses can be transitioned to zero if produced by 100% Green
Power. Yarra Trams is currently trialling this approach.




                                                                               9
Melbourne’s Transport Future


In terms of the most polluting modes of transport on Australia’s roads, motor
vehicles including the Hummer (270g) and Ford Territory (245g) emit the
highest concentrations of CO2 per person per kilometre. The Toyota Prius,
which uses 4.4 litres of petrol per 100 kilometres compared with the Ford
Territory’s 12.5 litres, emits 87 grams of CO2, the lowest amongst motor
vehicles. The proposed Camry hybrid to be produced in Australia would emit
115 grams.

It is not enough to assume that improved technology will solve the emissions
challenge for the transport sector. There is no doubt that we need to find
ways to encourage Victorians to become smarter about their travel choice.
Providing better public transport, running frequently across all suburbs, would
help more families cut their driving, not only protecting them from future petrol
price rises, but cutting emissions as well.




10
                                                    Melbourne’s Transport Future



Rail Capacity
We believe there is a need to expand the capacity of our rail system. The
maximum capacity of the rail system has been extensively studied. On almost
all of the lines, there are very few remaining timeslots to use.

While there is still some room for more Flinders Street services, this is mostly
not on the lines experiencing the most growth. The operators are moving to
progressively use up this capacity. This approach is short-term and will not




cope with demand for very much longer.

The rail network has never carried as many passengers as it currently does.
The annual growth rate is also at extraordinary levels - 12-13% increase each
year.

If we are to aspire to build new rail extensions, there must first be
substantially increased capacity in the inner core.

The only currently workable proposal is to extend into the Epping North/South
Morang area, because the Epping rail line can handle a number of additional
trains. The Victorian Government announced in the 2008 Budget that it is
moving forward on this extension proposal.

Choice 2: We recommend that the Victorian Government implements
recommendations 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9 of the East West Link Needs
Assessment, and in addition that the Victorian Government prioritises
the implementation of recommendation 1 (rail tunnel) over other major
infrastructure projects.



                                                                             11
Melbourne’s Transport Future



Walking and Cycling
Walking and cycling is now a major mode of transport for work and
recreational journeys. On census day in 2006 over 7.3 percent, or 3,800,
Moreland residents chose to walk or cycle to work. Our major off road bicycle
paths – the Upfield, Merri and Moonee Ponds Creek – have been known to
suffer from congestion at peak hours given the number of cyclists seeking to
use these routes in the morning peak.

Cycling saves taxpayers more than $290 million in health and traffic
congestion costs. In terms of health benefits and savings, cycling saves
Australian Governments $227.2 million per annum. It also cuts traffic
congestion costs by $63.9 million and saves $9.3 million in combating noise
and air pollution. Cycling also reduces the incidence of sedentary lifestyle
diseases including diabetes, high blood pressure and reduces the likelihood
of stroke.

Bicycle Victoria has argued that cycling and walking can become a major
mode of transport around activities centre and in the Central Business District
(CBD) – up to 30 or 40 percent. If such a modal shift can be achieved it will
greatly aid in managing road and public transport congestion.

Choice 3: We recommend that the Victorian Government continues to
invest in improving walking and cycling links across Metropolitan
Melbourne, particularly in and around principal and major activity
centres

Choice 4: We recommend that the Victorian Government implements
recommendation 7 of the East West Link Needs Assessment – cross city
cycle links, in consultation with stakeholders such as Bicycle Victoria.




12
                                                    Melbourne’s Transport Future



Priorities in Melbourne’s
Northern Suburbs
Melbourne’s northern suburbs have some strong public transport
infrastructure, but also some significant weaknesses. Our north south
transport routes are well served by public transport, with both heavy and light
rail. However, the great weaknesses of our public transport network are the
orbital, or cross town routes. In Moreland these are served almost exclusively
by buses – buses which often lack the service frequency, and span (ie
operating hours) of other modes of public transport.

While Melbourne has been undergoing a bus revolution, much of Moreland
has missed out in this bus revolution until recently. The first stage of
implementation of the Hume-Moreland Bus Review has been warmly received
with the reorganisation of some bus routes, and the upgrading of others north
of Bell Street to MOTC service standards. In addition some other bus routes
in Brunswick and Coburg have been boosted to MOTC standards – in some
cases putting in place the first ever Sunday east west public transport
services in those areas.

Choice 5: We recommend that the Victorian Government accelerate the
implementation of the Smart Bus network.

Choice 6: We recommend that the Victorian Government begins
planning and design for new rapid transit bus services, such as some
suggested by the Bus Association of Victoria including services such as
the CBD to Latrobe Uni, Hampton to Pakenham, extend 900 to Ferntree
Gully, Caroline Springs to City.

Choice 7: We recommend that the Victorian Government progressively
improves the MOTC bus service standards so that by 2012 they match
the span (or service hours) of the train and tram network.

Another issue for our electorates is the quality of heavy rail services via the
Upfield corridor. The Upfield railway line connects two activity centres in the
northern suburbs to the CBD – Coburg and Brunswick. The Upfield corridor
is almost unique in Melbourne, with a parallel tram route for much of its
distance (from Jewell station to Merlynston). As a consequence a dual north
south transport service has emerged. For short haul trips (mostly up and
down Sydney Road) the tram is the preferred mode of travel, but for trips to
and from the CBD (mostly commuting) the Upfield train is preferred.




                                                                             13
Melbourne’s Transport Future




Despite this, patronage on the Upfield railway line is growing rapidly.
Between 2000 and 2006 patronage numbers in the AM peak grew by 8.8
percent on average, including 12.5 percent in 2006. As the Victorian
Government moves forward to consider options for increasing capacity, and
increasing services, addressing the growth in demand for public transport in
the north south Upfield corridor is essential.

Choice 8: We recommend that the Victorian Government takes
advantage of opportunities that arise with increasing capacity and the
construction of the east west rail tunnel to increase peak services on
the Upfield line, especially AM peak services




14
                                                    Melbourne’s Transport Future


There has been some debate about grade separation within our community.
In our opinion grade separations are costly, disruptive and generally rank as a
low priority compared to other transport projects. However, there are specific
cases where grade separation not only enhances transport connectivity but
also acts to improve the community. The Glenroy railway crossing is an
example of a grade separation that needs to happen. We do not support
grade separation of other east west roads in Moreland as an immediate
priority.

Choice 9: We recommend that the Victorian Government prioritises
grade separation of the Glenroy railway crossing in its upcoming
transport plan

Our tram system complements our north south railway line south of Bell
Street, and is incredibly popular. Indeed anecdotal evidence suggests that it
too is suffering from capacity constraints. Reports from our community
indicate that during the AM and PM peaks route 55, 19, 1, 8 and 96 trams are
full. The Victorian Government has recently leased five new trams to address
capacity constraints on route 96, but we need to consider actions for other
routes.

Choice 10: We recommend that the Victorian Government gives effect to
MOTC action 4, and adds to tram rolling stock.




                                                                             15
Melbourne’s Transport Future



Freight and the Port of
Melbourne
Freight transport in Melbourne is expected to grow at a rate of 3 percent
annually – almost all of it by road transport.

Road transport dominates the movement of goods within Victoria. In metro
Melbourne almost all goods move by road transport. This means that freight
shares road space with cars, public transport, and motorcycles. There is a
golden opportunity to increase rail freight and reduce east west road
congestion.

Unfortunately the East West Needs Analysis does not seriously examine
this opportunity.

Currently rail provides competition outside the urban areas. For example half
of all containerised freight in regional Victoria is on rail. In bulk this is even
greater, for example 90% of Victorian grain is hauled by rail. Interstate
transport of goods is shared by road, rail and sea. Rail dominates along the
east west long haul with around 80% on the Adelaide/Perth corridor and
significant share on the northern corridor serving Brisbane and Sydney.

The Victorian Government has targeted increasing rail’s market share of port
related freight from 10% in 1996 to 30% by 2010. Trade volumes through the
port are expected to grow by almost 70% between 2000 and 2020.

To build 30% market share by 2020 rail from 1996 figures rail freight will have
to grow by 230% and road by 35%. Only the successful establishment of
metropolitan shuttle services can achieve this. From the Port import
containers would be sent out to intermodal facilities and distributed. Empties
are then reallocated to export industries and they are consolidated in
intermodal facilities either in metropolitan or regional locations and freighted
into the Port.

This modal shift is currently being implemented but there is a need for further
investments, government direction through infrastructure priorities and
industry support. Simply building road capacity risks undermining future
rail investments.

Choice 11: We recommend that the Victorian Government maintains
policies that advances modal shift for freight – up to 30 percent of
freight onto rail.

A key policy opportunity to meet the task of moving freight onto rail is
intermodal facilities, otherwise known as inland ports or rail shuttles.

The Victorian Freight and Logistics Council study on intermodal facilities
noted:

16
                                                                    Melbourne’s Transport Future

           The Victorian Government announced a rail target for port cargoes of 30 percent in
           2010. This target cannot be achieved through increasing interstate long haul cargoes
           or intrastate regional cargo volumes. The only solution to achieve this target is to
           focus on attracting the more than 1 million containers in the metropolitan Melbourne
           conurbation. By focusing on this market, the Government is more likely to achieve
           the greatest impact for the limited funding available for investment. This target relies
           on a network of consolidation hubs to assemble a rail offering for port shuttle. 1

Melbourne is fortunate that it has three clear industry and freight and logistics
clusters. The trend has been a clustering of industries and their related freight
and logistics partners around major transport corridors.

Such clusters in the west and north of the city have already reduced road
freight movements across the Yarra via the city. Distributing to those clusters
via shuttle trains into intermodal centres can reduce current conflicts in the
inner areas over land use and reduce east west congestion.

Central to the operation of this intermodal network is the planned
establishment of new rail freight hub - Melbourne Port@l. These intermodal
facilities would also manage empty containers and improve the flow of
containers between importers and exporters, which will assist the
unnecessary movement of container empties.

The Victorian Freight and Logistics Council’s October 2006 discussion paper
argues for the need for Government to directly intervene to assist the
establishment of these facilities. Currently intermodal facilities exist in the
north at Somerton, in the west at Laverton and Altona and there are a couple
of sites being looked at in the southeast.

Congestion around the Port of Melbourne can be relieved locally by new on
and off ramps onto to the Westgate Freeway. But long term, managing the
impact of the Port on urban congestion the real challenge is to implement an
urban intermodal policy that fulfils the State Government’s commitment to a
30% rail share.

Choice 12: We recommend that the Victorian Government continues to
promote opportunities for the development of intermodal facilities, and
encourages more freight in the Port of Melbourne to travel to
metropolitan destinations by rail.




1
    Victorian Freight and Logistics Council, "A Toolkit for the Development of Intermodal Hubs."

                                                                                                   17
Melbourne’s Transport Future



Business as Usual or What
must not be done
“The argument is not that new roads are bad. Our roads and freeways are vital to the
economic and social well being of Melbourne. The argument is that continually
expanding congested roads tends to be inefficient.”
                                                   Carlo Carli & Christopher Anderson, April 2007

The East West Link Needs Assessment has recommended the construction
of an 18 kilometre cross city freeway and tunnel from the end of the Eastern
Freeway through to the Western suburbs.

The key reasons why this cross city freeway is on the agenda is:

     1. There is a perception that infrastructure construction drives economic
        growth and key business and indeed some union leaders are looking
        for the next big project. 2
     2. Merchant bankers in particular are keen to take advantage of the last
        real potential toll road market in Melbourne.
     3. The freight industry is concerned about road congestion in inner
        Melbourne affecting freight movements and is looking for solutions.

These perceptions are not enough of a justification to back a massive project
that will be disruptive to communities, will disproportionately effect
disadvantaged communities in inner Melbourne during construction, and will
act to reverse the policy triumph of recent years – that of effecting modal shift
in journeys to one of Melbourne’s major employment and activity regions –
the inner city.

Congestion and the Cross City road tunnel

A road tunnel will only act to induce traffic. If built – with or without inner city
exit ramps - it will increase congestion as “triple convergence” takes effect.
Brookings Institute economist Anthony Downs describes triple convergence…

        Visualize a major commuting expressway so heavily congested each morning that
        traffic just crawls for at least 30 minutes. If that expressway were magically doubled
        in capacity overnight, the next day traffic there would flow rapidly because the same
        number of drivers would have twice as much road space.

        But soon the word would get around that this road was now uncongested. Many
        drivers who had formerly travelled on that road before and after the peak hour to
        avoid congestion would shift back into that peak period. Other drivers who had been
        using alternative routes would shift onto this more convenient expressway. Even
        some commuters who used public transit would start driving on this road.

2
  This assumption has been challenged by some economists. In particular Jago Dodson in
studying the economic growth impact of the Western Ring Road has written that..
        gross inward private sector investment and public road infrastructure provision are blunt and questionably
        effective instruments for achieving socio-economic development in a historically disadvantaged region


18
                                                        Melbourne’s Transport Future


       Within a short time, this triple convergence upon the expanded road during peak
       hours would make the road as congested as before its expansion.

So a road tunnel does not relieve congestion in the inner north – it is in fact a
recipe for more.

In an attempt to reduce congestion, the State Government announced a $1.4
billion program to increase road capacity on the Monash-West Gate Link.
However MOTC has forecast the upgrade will reach full capacity within two
decades.     This is a clear indication that increasing road capacity in
congested road networks does not simply meet existing growth; it
generates and induces more vehicle trips.

A series of studies demonstrate this:

       Findings from a leading international study conducted by Litman
       showed that traffic grows when roads are uncongested, but growth
       rates decline as congestion develops.
       Robert Cervero studied data on freeway expansion in California
       between 1980 and 1994 to estimate the long term elasticity of Vehicle
       Miles Travel (VMT) with respect to increased speed is around 0.64,
       which means that an increase in 10% in speed results in 6.4%
       increase in VMT.
       Before its opening, CityLink was hailed as the solution to Melbourne’s
       cross-city traffic problems. Although while many expected the big
       increase in road space to result in free flowing traffic, the reality has
       been that daily congestion plagues CityLink, with large numbers of
       single vehicle occupants dominating.

These findings indicate that more road space result in more congestion. By
simply increasing capacity and not trying to manage congestion we end up
with more vehicle trips than would otherwise occur.

Transport Demand Management

In many major cities there is considerable policy interest in how to overcome
automobile dependence and to encourage the use of alternate more
environmentally friendly means of transport. This shift in policy thinking is
resulting in the reduction of funds directed to highway building being diverted
into public transport. New infrastructure for rail systems is being funded and
more intense urban development rather than sprawl is becoming more
favoured by planners.

The travel demand in a majority of cities across the world, including
Melbourne, has become too large to be handled exclusively by any realistic
highway system. The management of congestion in major metropolitan areas
can never be served by merely engaging in continuous freeway widening.
The result becomes an extreme and seemingly endless number of traffic
lanes with closely spaced highway interchanges, and inadequate local street
systems to support the traffic that subsequently spills from it.


                                                                                   19
Melbourne’s Transport Future



The key to moving towards more sustainable transport options is through
providing better provision of access to transit over car traffic along corridors,
and better walking and cycling provisions in local areas to ensure these types
of modes have a competitive speed advantage for long and short trips.

The Cross City Road Tunnel, PPPs and Demand Forecasts

Melbourne has a highly developed road network with more roadways per
capita than most comparable cities despite relatively uncomplicated
topography. Melbourne also has a significant arterial road network in place
which is more than capable of meeting East-West transport needs if utilised
efficiently. East-West Travel is a minor component of transport demand, and
many of these vehicles currently have low occupancies.

The demand projections in the East West Needs Assessment are speculative.
The traffic forecast for a new road tunnel assumes a low toll price and fails to
factor in toll avoidance. This is odd given the experience of the Cross City and
Lane Cove tunnels in NSW, both of which massively underestimated toll
avoidance and hence over estimated traffic flows.

Even with these assumption the road tunnel only has a cost benefit of less
that 0.74, which means for every dollar spent there will be less than 74 cents
of benefit. In Sir Rod Eddington’s report to the UK Government he warned the
UK Government to be wary of projects based on such speculative demand
modelling. This advice should equally apply to the East West Needs
Assessment study.

       There is no substitute for careful cost-benefit analysis based on robust economic
       evidence and there are many examples around the world of projects founded on
       speculative demand forecasts, which did not deliver their purported economic
       benefits. Further research would be needed to understand the potential scale of
       these latent demands and the benefits may well be speculative. There is certainly
       enough for government to be getting on with in the meantime, to tackle the more
       certain looming challenges of congestion and overcrowding, where intervention offers
       far more certain economic benefits. Prioritization of transport spending must mean
       focusing on those schemes where the economic benefits are more certain.

We agree with this advice. There is an imperative to get on with the job of
meeting the growing public transport demands and dealing with other road
projects. The current $1.4billion project to expand road capacity on the
Westgate Freeway needs to be complemented by a demand management
strategy, otherwise the benefit of expanded road space will be lost because of
the new traffic that is generated. Given our current challenges that road
tunnel is simply not a priority.

The Cross City Tunnel and Modelling

The East West Needs Assessment projects future road and public transport
trips using a classic four-phase model. These transport models have been in
use since the 1960s and have been critiqued for their pro road bias.



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                                                    Melbourne’s Transport Future


The model has a number of biases favouring car transportation. The
travel surveys undercount non-motorised travel. They do not account for the
tendency of traffic to maintain equilibrium, which means some road users
shift time, route or destination to avoid congestion.

In fact the model assumes a growth in public transport of 2.2% per annum
whereas it is growing at over 10%. Sir Rod Eddington says this estimate in
the modelling is too low and uses a growth rate of 6.6% to calculate public
transport growth, when he considers future demand on our public transport
system.

The global price of petroleum has risen dramatically. Rising petrol prices have
had significant impact on travel behaviour with greater demand for public
transport and reducing demand for car use and a change to smaller cars. The
model assumes no real cost increase in fuel price. The model assumes that
the growth of transport demand will continue without interruption. But clearly
high petrol prices will affect transport behaviour.

In summary the modelling has the following limitations:

      The model does not account for generated traffic that results from
      expanding road capacity
      It presents increases in traffic as unavoidable
      It does not accurately account for shifts in increasing walking and
      cycling numbers, and
      It fails to account for the massive modal shift towards sustainable
      transport that is currently occurring.
      It assumes no behavioral change due to environmental consciousness
      or rising petrol prices

Choice 13: We strongly recommend that the Victorian Government does
not proceed with recommendation 4 of the East West Needs
Assessment Report.       We strongly recommend that the Victorian
government should adopt a hierarchy of actions in dealing with
congestion for corridors.

This hierarchy of action is:

   Develop walking, cycling and public transport networks within that
   corridor to enable real transport choice (supply side options)
   Implement transport demand management measures such as
   reduction in parking, road space management and the like
   Consider road based measures such as redesign of intersections,
   expanding road space etc as a last resort.




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Conclusion
The current political climate provides opportunities for the Victorian
government, in partnership with the Commonwealth and local government, to
assume a leadership position nationally on dealing with the future challenges
in the transport sector such as social exclusion and climate change.

Such a choice is, of course, political.

The recommendations contained in this submission form the basis for a way
forward which has a basis in the idea that in dealing with the transport
problems of a urban corridor, government should ensure that transport choice
is delivered before large road space investments are even considered.

We support the intention of the Victorian Government to deliver a wider
metropolitan transport plan in the later half of 2008. Such a plan has
opportunities to inform a vision of a city that makes the right choices in
planning for the future.

It is now up to the Victorian Government to make political choices. The
moment for breaking away from business as usual approaches in transport
policy has come.




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