Thursday, June 26, 2008

Committee for Geelong disappointed at east-west tunnel rejection

A SUPER-sized $9 billion tunnel under Melbourne to free up traffic from the western region and Geelong needs to go ahead despite the City of Melbourne rejecting it, a peak lobby group says.

Committee for Geelong executive director Peter Dorling said the council's vote against the proposed road tunnel harmed the interests of Geelong commuters.

The tunnel would link the Eastern Freeway with the western suburbs.

Mr Dorling said it was natural for such large scale developments to attraction objections.

But he said the east-west tunnel was too important to be ignored.

"Doing nothing is not an option," Mr Dorling said.

"It's our business that would use it, it's our freight that would use it, it's our general population that would use it we have a right to get in and out of Melbourne."

The committee has long backed the $9 billion tunnel link put forth by international transport expert Sir Rod Eddington.

Premier John Brumby is expected to decide upon the scheme later this year.

The tunnel is Sir Eddington's solution to the bottleneck of traffic creating pressure at the western gateway to Melbourne.

With up to 70,000 people expected to settle in the Armstrong Creek development on Geelong's fringe in coming years, the state is beginning to look at solutions including the tunnel.

But at a City of Melbourne meeting on Tuesday night, eight of the nine councillors, including Lord Mayor John So, voted to oppose the tunnel.

The councillors argued that parkland should not be destroyed and called for a bigger use of public transport.

On Saturday about 500 people turned out to oppose the proposed use of a park in Kensington as a part of the road tunnel.

In his East West Needs Assessment report, Sir Eddington said the digging of the tunnel to connect the Eastern Freeway with the western suburbs should start from the park.

Interesting that it's misreported. Eight of the nine councillors voted for the amendment so it would say that the City of Melbourne was anti-tunnel - one voted against the amendment because he felt it wasn't worded strongly enough, it needed to me MORE anti-tunnel.

Also... I'm not entirely sure how a tunnel in Footscray is going to "free up traffic in Geelong"... I don't think their traffic jams are 75km long.


Bedford Empress said...

Why are you against a tunnel- Is it the design or the concept?

Anonymous said...

Check out some of the links in the top right, or check elsewhere on this blog for more detail, however...

The incredible amount of money that would be required to be spent on that tunnel project would be better spent on increasing rail options (both passenger, and freight out of the docks).

The building of more roads to solve traffic congestion is flawed. If you build roads, they fill up. Instead, viable alternatives need to be encouraged. Rail. Bus. Bicycle. Walking. etc.