The presence of highly visible rails and overhead equipment of a Tram line on Doncaster Hill would have provided its residents with a stable, reliable and a symbolic connection to the entire metropolitan network.
Buses, except on the dedicated freeway lanes which cater only for City bound commuters, were less preferred than a fixed rail service because Trams are faster, are punctual and can carry more passengers. A Tram to the city would also have provided access to the adjoining or inner Melbourne suburb’s facilities such as private schools, Hospitals, Specialists and major Sports arenas. The Tram 48 extension would have required only 4.5 Km of extra track, serving Greythorn Village and the Doncaster Park and Ride facility before terminating near Westfield Doncaster.
Manningham were told
by the authority, after it had approved the Doncaster Hill strategy, to “stop tugging in other directions” and that Buses would now be the public transport solution for Doncaster Hill. That did not stop Mary Wooldridge, the Doncaster Liberal candidate, from promising that “work would start on the tramline as quickly as possible with completion in or before 2010”. “This will be a connection, much wanted, with centre platforms, not kerb access stops and designed to have two accessible stops per kilometer “.
Tony Morton the president of the Transport Users Association said “the tram 48 service only to North Balwyn is just another example. where Trams terminate in the middle of nowhere often kilometres away from a logical terminus. Doncaster.
The Labor candidate for Bulleen, after responding to pressure for a Tram from the electorate prior to the last election, had to back away from from declaring he would like to see the tram line extended from North Balwyn to Doncaster Hill.
Adam Rundell previously told Manningham Leader he was pushing to have Labor commit to a plan to have the Route 48 from the city to North Balwyn continue to Westfield Doncaster and link with Doncaster Park and Ride.
But Mr Rundell cancelled a media opportunity and photo 30 minutes before the agreed time, after campaign organisers advised him against it.
Mr Rundell explained: “I have just received advice from campaign organisers from HQ (headquarters) that they didn’t want to create a conflict of interest, where Labor Party policy was not to extend the tram line at the moment, and have the local candidate publicly voicing their support of it.”
Having realised that the State could not afford additional funding for transport to Doncaster Hill other than Buses, let alone the $60 million required for a Tram connection, Manningham is now showcasing a fruitless campaign for a train to Doncaster Park and Ride, costed at $11 Billion, which they know could not be justified even if there were other growth areas it could service to show it was cost efficient. It won’t influence locals, who are tired of all the propaganda, but it might help to con overseas investors into believing it may actually happen. .. Tracy D.