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.
Balwyn Road Terminus Click to enlarge

Balwyn Road Terminus
Click to enlarge

Tram 48 to Doncaster Click to Enlarge

Tram 48 to Doncaster
Click to Enlarge

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.

Labor Candidate Click to enlarge

Adam Rundell
Click to enlarge

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.




  1. Sandra says:

    The proposition that Buses alone would be adequate for the car driven residents of Doncaster is insulting to the extreme, especially when nearby Box Hill has Train, Bus and had a Tram line extension built in 2003.

    1. Edified says:

      The traffic congestion in Box Hill is worse than Doncaster.
      Cars pass railway stations to get to freeways this is a fact. Get over it.
      The only viable rail line for Manningham is from a park and ride at Westerfolds to Heidelberg. This line could be extended to Warrandyte.
      This line would be non-intrusive and a good use for the Westerfold land that was purchased for the people of Victoria and is barely used at present.

  2. Anonyme says:

    All Melbourne’s tram routes, including Doncaster Road Greythorn, are 20 metres wide. Doncaster Road, east of the freeway to Mitcham Road, is 30 metres wide which would be ideal to accommodate a tram line. The Tram 109 extension to Box Hill is on Whitehorse Road, which, except for the last section in front of the shops, is also 20 metres wide and has a similar gradient to Doncaster Road. Transfield Engineering & Construction were awarded the design and construction contract for the project, ahead of two other companies, in 2001 and completed the extension in 2003. Box Hill Central is the largest transport interchange in suburban Melbourne, servicing 18 different bus routes and the Lilydale and Belgrave train lines. Each day there are 17,000 train travelers and 3700 bus passengers using the interchange, and up to 330,000 people are expected to use the new Box Hill extension each year.

  3. Trammy says:

    Why Box Hill and not Doncaster Hill? It is arguably more suitable because Doncaster Road is 10 metres wider from the Freeway up to East Doncaster. The rapid bus up the freeway to CBD is fine for city workers but what about the rest of the population? It would be great if we could also link the Tunstall Square activity Centre to the tram network.

    Box Hill Extension opening
    2 May, 2003

    Yarra Trams’ launched its route 109 tramline extension to Box Hill this morning with festive celebrations held at the new route terminus at Market Street on Whitehorse Road.

    Attending the launch was the Premier, Steve Bracks, Minister for Transport, Peter Batchelor, Yarra Trams’ Chief Executive Officer, Hubert Guyot and the Mayor for the City of Whitehorse, Jessie McCallum.

    Mr Guyot said: ”This is a very special day for Yarra Trams and the Box Hill community. Not only will people now have access to the tram, the tram stops are fully compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act, providing complete access for those with mobility impairment.”

    ”The extension also demonstrates modern principles of beautification and incorporates infrastructure harmoniously with its environment. The piazza-style terminus, tracks surrounded by grass and the undergrounding of services to reduce clutter to the skyline, are three fine examples of this.”

    Yarra Trams’ also invited the community to attend the launch of the tramline that will make visiting Box Hill’s hospital, TAFE, shopping centre, train and bus interchanges so much easier.

    The launch featured guest speakers, music, a horse-drawn tram and a community art project coordinated by RAtARtAt. The project featured art completed by the local community, including a box sculpture at the terminus and colourful wooden passengers at the new tram stops.

    The Box Hill extension forms part of the Tram 109 project, a joint initiative with the Victorian State Government to create a showcase tram route embodying the very best and most modern passenger transport infrastructure and services.

    Mr Guyot says: ”Already the Tram 109 project has begun to show Melburnians what we can achieve with real commitment to the passenger transport system from government, stakeholders and the community.”

    The Box Hill tramline extension lengthens the 17 kilometre route by 2.2 kilometres, from its previous terminus at Union Road, Mont Albert, to outside the busy Box Hill shopping centre. Grass-covered track has been installed from Elgar Road to the terminus.

    The extension cost a total of $28 million and will begin to operate scheduled services from Sunday, 4th May 2003. The Citadis low floor trams will exclusively service route 109, Yarra Trams’ showcase route.

    A free tram shuttle service will operate between Box Hill and Mont Albert between 10.00am and 4.00pm on Saturday so the community can experience the new extension before regular services commence.

  4. John S says:

    One method that would reduce cars on Doncaster Road, particularly in the AM and PM peak periods, would be to remove the dedicated Bus lanes and extend the Tram 48 from North Balwyn through to Tunstall Square. This would allow City travelers from Donvale, East Doncaster, Doncaster Hill, Greythorn and North Balwyn to use the Tram to link with the freeway Bus, in and out of the CBD, at Park and Ride. This would also help reduce the number of cars using Park and Ride and provide Doncaster Hill with a connection to other facilities accessible within the wide Melbourne Tram network.

    1. David says:

      The line could then branch off at the eastern freeway then along to Alexander Parade and link with the existing tram lines in Lygon or Nicholson Streets through to the heart of Melbourne. Based on the West Sydney light rail project the total cost, including rolling stock, could be less than $1.5 Billion. A much better idea when you consider the heavy rail, with its $11 Billion price tag, which would only go as far as the Greythorn/West Doncaster, Park and Ride, may never happen.

      1. Ruslick says:

        A light rail service to Donvale from North Balwyn would be practical and could be constructed within three years at a cost of less than $100 Million. If a light rail connection to the City via the freeway could be built, including rolling stock, for a cost of $1.5 Billion, why is council campaigning for a railway station at Park and Ride when all past studies have indicated it is impractical and not affordable? It seems like the state politicians and Manningham council, prefer to keep the prospect of heavy rail alive by making promises it could be delivered within 15-20 years when they won’t be around to be held accountable. The downside of building a tram line on Doncaster Road, as far as Council officers and engineers are concerned, would be the extra work load and responsibility involved. However these burdens are being avoided, at least in their tenure, by continuing to promote the false hope of a heavy rail to Doncaster Park and Ride which they know will never happen.

    2. Edified says:

      Trams are too slow for long journeys and clutter up roads for more important commuters. Namely car drivers. 90%of trips are made by car drivers yet narrow minded “Iron Horse” campaigners would make life difficult for them.
      Thank goodness for the RACV.

  5. F D says:

    Every time there is an outcry about traffic congestion caused by inadequate public transport on Doncaster Hill Manningham council propose another “study” to pacify concerned residents. In the meantime there is this ludicrous “mode shift” plan for Doncaster Hill written in a typically vague and word salad language, below is an excerpt.

    “The achievement of mode shift is a complex issue, requiring a coordinated, long term approach across State and Local Government, developers and the community. The attractiveness, accessibility, reliability, efficiency and integration of sustainable transport modes such as public transport, cycling and walking are all considered key factors if mode shift is to be achieved”

    1. Edified says:

      Trams and Trains will reduce car traffic??
      Doncaster Road, in the Doncaster area, is still a better functioning arterial road than most in Box Hill and certainly better than tram cluttered North Balwyn.
      Surely the priority of Manningham is to keep cars out of Manningham.
      Park and ride station on the outskirts at Westerfolds and light rail to Heidelberg would be a much less intrusive option than trying to squeeze rail into the Doncaster Hill.
      There is already inadequate parking space on the Hill.
      Doncaster Hill Strategy was shamelessly promoted to be an Urban Village and Doncaster Road was to be a Boulevard.
      The highly paid planners that proposed the scheme are now gone.
      The next Council elections are in 2016. People that you have never heard of will be candidates. They will make promises that they will never keep.

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