VTA calls for discussion on ‘missing link’ project

Transport body says the North East Link could remove up to 40 per cent heavy vehicles from suburban streets

VTA calls for discussion on ‘missing link’ project
VTA CEO Peter Anderson is in favour of the North East Link project.


Following a positive comment from treasurer Tim Pallas on the future of the North East Link project, the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) is calling for a "sensible and mature discussion" with all stakeholders to reconsider the plan and effects related to the project.

VTA CEO Peter Anderson says the ‘missing link’ project will ease congestion on suburban roads and increase productivity within the transport and logistics industry.

"Our estimation is that up to 40 per cent of heavy vehicles would be eliminated from suburban roads in the north east of Melbourne if the North East Link was built,"Anderson says.

"As well as improving the amenity for residents of those suburbs, this would improve productivity for the whole of Melbourne – not just freight operators – because of the immediate and stark reduction in congestion that would eventuate."

Anderson says the North East Link connection would also mitigate the need for night curfews on trucks greater than 4.5 tonnes travelling between the Eastern Freeway and the Ring Road, which had only led to increased congestion on roads in the area during the day.

"Because of the curfews we are seeing more trucks on these roads during the morning peak, which presents safety risks and adds to congestion.

"The VTA looks forward to working with and consulting all stakeholders on this vital project which would reduce congestion, increase productivity, and make an enormous contribution to Victoria’s economic prosperity."

Last week, Pallas made a subtle indication that the North East Link project could be on the state government's road infrastructure agenda in the near future.

Victoria’s independent major projects adviser Infrastructure Victoria is due to deliver a report on the project proposal by the end of the year – a submission likely to dictate the future of the project.

Part of the Metropolitan Ring Road project, the ‘missing link’ will provide a direct connection between the Ring Road and the Eastern Freeway or the EastLink freeway.

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