Monday, July 21, 2008

Highpoint lobbies for new train line to Maribyrnong

Another suggestion for an extension of an existing line, instead of digging another tunnel...

HIGHPOINT Shopping Centre wants a new train line to Maribyrnong.

The retail mecca has outlined the plan in its response to Sir Rod Eddington's transport report.

Starting from the existing Flemington Racecourse line, it would extend past the shopping centre to former Defence Department land in Maribyrnong.

Highpoint has called for better public transport access to its shops.

"Highpoint lacks significant transport infrastructure on the scale enjoyed by other comparable centres,'' the submission said.

In addition to developing Highpoint as a town centre, the nearby former defence site could house up to 10,000 people, it said.

The Edgewater estate could house a further 2500 residents and the area included Maribyrnong Secondary College and Victoria University.

Highpoint suggested the new rail line be built to serve all these precincts.

In its submission, GPT Property Management project director Peter Thomas said numerous rail routes had already been examined as part of the abandoned airport rail link project.

"It would appear timely to consider this particular extension in the context of the broader metropolitan planning work under way,'' Mr Thomas said.

Monash University has also backed new rail lines, urging the proposed underground link from Footscray to Caulfield be extended.

In a response to the Eddington report, university vice- president Peter Marshall called for the line to be extended to Monash's Clayton campus and beyond to Rowville.

"The extension of the tunnel and rail services would address transport needs for the area as a whole,'' Mr Marshall said.

Existing public transport access to Monash, which includes an overcrowded bus connection from Huntingdale station, was a disincentive to switching from cars, he said.

The State Government is now considering the 2042 public responses to the Eddington report on Melbourne's east-west transport needs.

Key recommendations were a rail tunnel from Footscray to Caulfield and a road tunnel linking the Eastern Freeway to the western suburbs

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