Melbourne’s outer east has been shafted by the Australian Government which has axed major road and public transport infrastructure projects desperately needed to improve safety and ease congestion.
Mayor Cr Susan Laukens described the news as a massive blow for Knox and surrounding communities of Melbourne’s greater south east.
“These projects were intended to upgrade two of the worst roads in Knox (Napoleon and Wellington) and deliver critical public transport services,” Cr Laukens said.
“Knox residents face heavy traffic commuting to work and study. The lack of public transport is causing congestion on freeways and major roads as locals are forced to use their cars.
“The state of major roads in Knox is a disgrace. Daily our residents are reporting costly damage to their cars from hitting potholes.
“Frequent accidents are contributing further to congestion, frustrating motorists who are using local roads as rat runs to avoid the worst of it. This just pushes cars into residential streets and more safety issues on local roads.
“The two go hand in hand. Without significant investment in public transport our roads are only going to get worse.
“Successive governments have failed our community. We’ve been promised a public transport solution since 1969 and we’re still on a promise.
“Just before the election the federal government pledged $6 million to begin planning for the trackless tram between Caulfield Station and Rowville.
“The money earmarked for Rowville Rail was never enough but it should at least be quarantined to deliver on that business case if it stacks up.
“The trackless tram has the capacity to move 1800 people an hour, with a trip from Rowville to Monash University taking just 11 minutes. We need to do something to get more people off our roads,” she said.
The certainty of commuter car parks in Boronia and Ferntree Gully is also under a cloud with a third of the promised car parks being dumped.
“We’ve been advocating to replace the commuter car park in Boronia with a new facility for up to 500 cars at a new location but the funding is not enough to achieve this,” Cr Laukens said.