Darebin council looks to rail to solve traffic woes

By: Jason Whittaker


Rail freight will be given priority over the trucking industry as Victoria’s Darebin Council looks to cut down on traffic

Rail freight will be given priority over the trucking industry as Victoria’s Darebin Council looks to cut down on traffic congestion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Under its transport strategy to be implemented over the next 20 years, Darebin Council will not build new roads or widen existing ones. Rather, road space is to be managed with lower speed limits on main roads, video surveillance and the introduction of speed cameras.

The council highlighted St Georges Road, Albert Street, Grange Road and High Street as priority areas.

Darebin’s transport strategy says no amount of improvements or upgrades to current road infrastructure will ease traffic congestion. The report has singled out the trucking industry as one the culprits clogging up local roads, and as such will now turn to the rail industry to try and meet its freight needs.

"In response, transport planning has shifted from planning for new roads to policies that create more efficient urban environments," the report says.

As part of the transport strategy, Darebin Council will also expand and upgrade cycling and walking routes, as well as spend more on public transport projects, which may force trucking operators off the road.

One of the policies to be implemented under the strategy involves giving preference to public transport vehicles over single-occupant vehicles such as trucks.

The Brumby Government welcomed the strategy, with Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky saying Darebin is leading the way in developing transport initiatives.

"The city of Darebin has shown continued leadership in the area of transport planning," Kosky says.

The transport strategy was guide by input from the Department of Infrastructure, VicRoads and community representatives.

"The Brumby Government will continue to work closely with the city of Darebin to improve public transport in the local area," Kosky says.

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