TRAFFIC CONSULTANT’S REMARKS AND RECOMMENDATION
“A strategy based largely on car dependency (or existing travel patterns) to service future development is likely to return back to pre-1997 congestion levels on main roads through the study area. However, the performance of these scenarios is unsatisfactory in the PM Peak periods and as such demonstrates the need to accept a lower development density if travel behaviour is not changed”.
“The clearest statement about how to achieve the broad aims of the Strategy are to change people’s travel behavior by encouraging increased public transport use and to reduce the level of car dependency. Council policies and guidelines will form a key element of this task, with Council acting as an advocate of change in travel conduct”.
Preliminary work by consultants had based their reports on there being an integrated transport system for the centre which suggested that it would have all three modes of transport made available, the promise of a railway station on Doncaster Hill and an extension of the Tram line, however were never more than political skulduggery. As early as 2002,
Council were warned by Government that Buses would be the transport solution for Doncaster Hill and were told to stop tugging in other directions.
The railway line to Doncaster was officially abandoned in the 70’s and the railway easment north of King Street was sold for residential development more than ten years later. This did not deter Manningham from going full steam ahead with its high rise apartment strategy, (up to 5000 apartments when completed), the enormous expansion of Westfield, a Bunnings Store with 258 apartments above it and about 1000 more dwellings (2000 residents) when the redevelopment of the Eastern Golf Club Estate is completed.
The method of travel to work data below by Doncaster, (including Doncaster Hill), residents show an increase of only 73 more who traveled by bus since the 2011 census. There was a greater increase in rail commuters where an additional 117 accessed the train at Box Hill Station in the same period. Cycling to work increased from 7 in 2011 to 12 in the 2016 census. Hilly terrain and lack of safe dedicated paths were the main reasons for the such low numbers.
Analysis of Car ownership of the households in Doncaster (inc. Doncaster Hill) in 2016 compared to City of Manningham shows that 88.1% of the households owned at least one car, while 6.5% did not, compared with 90.7% and 4.0% respectively in City of Manningham. Of those that owned at least one vehicle, there was a larger proportion of persons who owned just one car; a smaller proportion who owned two cars; and a smaller proportion who owned three cars or more.
An alternative route from the eastern freeway to Doncaster Hill, via an exit ramp at Tram Rd, might have been possible had there been a wider area between the sound wall and the freeway. This would have improved traffic flow in Tram Road and removed the need for vehicles to use Eildon and Boyd Streets to access Tram Road from Elgar Road.
Members of RAIDID (Residents Against Inappropriate Development In Doncaster) have concerns about future traffic congestion in Doncaster Road and how vehicles will be able to enter the high rise apartment buildings without blocking traffic. This is because many of the buildings can only be accessed from the west by vehicles completing U turns at Council Street and Whittens Lane. There will also be a similar problem for east bound vehicles exiting from the same developments. It remains to be seen how the additional traffic, generated by the Westfield extension and the Bunning development, can be managed.