VTA backs latest 30-year state infrastructure plan


Industry body cautions against Lorimer Street light rail

VTA backs latest 30-year state infrastructure plan
An image from the report

 

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has welcomed a raft of new and improved transport infrastructure in a report presented to the Victorian Parliament by the state’s infrastructure advisory body, Infrastructure Victoria.

The VTA notes that the report builds on Infrastructure Victoria’s first integrated strategy from 2016 and addresses key challenges facing the state over the coming three decades including a growing and ageing population, technological transformation, climate change, and worsening congestion on our transport network.

Of the report’s 94 recommendations, many specifically address the needs of freight operators whose volumes are on track to almost triple by 2050, including:

  • construction of a new Outer Ring Road and rail corridor that would ease pressure on the M80 and provide a much-needed free-flowing road transport network in Melbourne’s fast-growing north, west, and northwest
  • construction of a Cross City Motorway (CCM) facilitating east-west travel for people and freight through a connection between the West Gate Tunnel/CityLink and Eastern Freeway
  • significant investments in new passenger rail including the Metro Two project, Western Rail Corridor upgrades, reconfiguration of the City Loop and upgrades to the Northern Rail Corridor, taking cars of roads and freeing up existing road infrastructure for heavy vehicles and freight
  • investments in road management systems to reduce congestion
  • supporting efforts to optimise capacity at the Port of Melbourne to ensure Victoria can remain the freight capital of Australia
  • investments in new intermodal freight terminals to coincide with completion of the Melbourne-Brisbane Inland Rail Project.

"The VTA has long-supported the construction of new infrastructure so that the freight industry can productively, efficiently and safely transport exponentially growing volumes of freight," VTA CEO Peter Anderson said.

"Infrastructure Victoria has rightly identified the risks of not acting and planning now for our future transport needs.

"Big trucks need big roads, and this report identifies key new roads such as the Cross City Motorway and an Outer Ring Road to cater for freight and keep arterial roads for passenger vehicle traffic where possible.

"We also welcome investments in commuter rail in the plan because fewer cars reduce congestion, making the road network more productive for freight operators."


Read about on Infrastructure Victoria’s warnings for the future, here


Anderson welcomed recommendations in the plan to optimise capacity for the Port of Melbourne but warned government against putting a new Fisherman’s Bend light rail connection on Lorimer Street.

"As the only gazetted freight route in and out of the Port of Melbourne south of the Yarra, Lorimer Street must be preserved for freight vehicles," he said.

"There must be separation between 60-70 tonne high productivity freight vehicles and trams carrying hundreds of passengers."

 

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