LACK OF PLAN TO SEPARATE BUSES COULD STYMIE AMENDMENT REQUEST
In June 2013, Manningham engineers advised that a grade-separation of Buses through Doncaster Hill would be required. “Plans have yet to be completed but it is likely, given the area topography, a combination of both bridges and tunnels would be needed to achieve the desired grade separation, without this, road-based public transport services will fail to operate successfully on Doncaster Hill due to the delay and impact, primarily to buses, caused by ongoing development and increasing traffic congestion in the activities area and the surrounding road network”
“There will also be
a need for a grade separations for pedestrians particularly at the Doncaster Road/Williamsons Road/Tram Road intersection which links to Westfield Shopping centre and a public transport interchange and/or surrounding land use proposals, presumably funding and approval of the project would have come from our cash strapped state government.
The likely bottlenecks during peak periods at the Williamsons Road entrance and exit of Westfield, after the closure of the western end of Westfield Drive, could put pressure on residential Streets to the east. Westfield customer’s vehicles, not associated with Westfield Drive, from the 13 storey commercial tower for example, could also cross the Westfield land and exit through the residential areas, via Grosvenor Street, to the east. Not to mention resident vehicles from the future high density developments in Westfield Drive who might also use the same route to exit the area rather than have to hack their way out through the Westfield land on their way out to Williamsons Road. ( from Nick Papas)
Bad news for Doncaster and Middleborough Roads. Both are already approaching capacity and among the top ten most congested roads in Melbourne. (see left) Middleborough Road, number six on the list as the slowest, is unlikely to get any better as it takes more traffic wanting to avoid the gridlock at Doncaster Hill. Public Transport Victoria had raised the issue of the impact of the development on the operation of services within the surrounding road network as did a number of submitters who were also concerned whether the proposed surrounding road infrastructure is able to respond appropriately to the growth in traffic volumes resulting from the centre expansion and adjoining developments.
Minister for Public Transport confirmed that part of the $100 million committed to improve local bus networks across Victoria has been allocated for a feasibility study for the proposed Doncaster Bus Rapid Transit but only along the eastern freeway, Thompson’s Road and Park and Ride with Public Transport Victoria undertaking the study but no mention of more Buses or of grade separation.
Officers should have delayed the decision on submitting the amendment to an independent panel, so as the four newly elected councillors, including two in the Koonung Ward, could have had sufficient time to read the reports and communicate with residents.