Urban studies show that the lack of employment and shoddy public transportation service go hand in hand as obstacles to improving the economic and social conditions of low-income persons.
Outer suburban areas are disadvantaged as the result of Melbourne’s poor public transport infrastructure. A high proportion of low-income households are needing to travel further distances in order to get to places of employment, services and activities. This is evident in Manningham, the third highest car user in the metropolitan area, where 67.8% of the its full time employed persons travel to work outside of the municipality and will continue to escalate unless it can generate employment and improve its public transport.
Now that the eastern freeway appears likely to be widened, to accommodate the huge increase in traffic congestion, it could spell the end of any hope Manningham residents would have of a fixed rail service to Doncaster Hill. The most recent independent rail study, costing around $6 Million, was more a political stunt and a waste of taxpayers funds. They said a railway station on Doncaster Hill was not practical but did find “a rail alignment” along the eastern freeway, commencing at the Doncaster park-and-ride, was a possibility but no funds have been allocated.
According to CGA the ongoing difficulties associated with access to transport are commonly referred to as “transport disadvantage”. As Australia has comparatively high levels of car ownership, difficulties associated with maintaining private transport (e.g., financial stress related to initial cost of purchase, as well ongoing costs such as petrol, insurance, car purchase and maintenance) could also be included in the overall definition of transport disadvantage.
Self-containment shows the proportion of work journeys that originate and end in the same local area. High self-containment is seen as beneficial as it indicates a relatively even distribution of jobs and dwellings, and the opportunity for shorter journeys between work and home. As you can see by the graph on left Manningham is third last in self containment because of its lack of employment.The 4.5km extension of the tram along Doncaster Road, from North Balwyn to Doncaster Shoppingtown is not only achievable and affordable ($90-$100m) but has considerable community support. Manningham also continues to be the only municipality in metropolitan Melbourne without any form of rail access.Any plans for ‘green’ credentials for the hill are thrown out the window without providing an adequate, environmentally-friendly public transport option such as the tram along Doncaster Road. Poor transport options, inadequate buses and forced car dependency in Manningham will continue to cause gridlock and pollution problems for Doncaster Hill.