The table below left, from a study first conducted in 2001, showed existing traffic volumes along Doncaster Road plus forecast volumes in future years leading up to 2021. Earlier, in November 2000, Manningham Council had released a high-rise strategy plan called Doncaster Hill Strategy 2021
The study forecast
a reduction of 52% (from 51,535 to 24,688) in traffic volumes along Doncaster Road, east of JJ Tully Drive, after the opening of the eastern freeway extension in 1998.
This forecast market demand for a 20 year time frame had estimated up to 8,300 residents and 10,000 jobs within the area. Coupled with these forecasts were the observations that traffic volumes along Doncaster Road would drop significantly due to the extension of the Eastern Freeway and would allow the expansion of Westfield shopping centre without disrupting traffic flow.
By the year 2021 traffic volumes were expected to fall by a further 8% to 22,730. However, the three traffic profiles above, recently obtained from VicRoads, indicates a troubling mismatch with the earlier volume estimates.
The current volumes in Doncaster Road, according to VicRoads Traffic profiles, already about 20% higher than first predicted, will increase considerably rather than decline as they had anticipated in the 2001 study. A further 800 apartments will be occupied in several major developments due to be completed this year followed by another 2400 in the short term. The massive Bunnings Store in Doncaster Road, which is expected to average more than 3000 customers daily, also has a planning permit approved for the 385 apartments to be constructed above the store. While volumes on Doncaster Road have remained stable in recent years they are expected to increase significantly as Doncaster Hill is developed.