A new Infrastructure Australia Report has signalled increased congestion on the Calder as the major arterial struggles to meet increasing demand from outer growth areas.
The ‘Urban Crowding and Congestion Report’ identified that in 2016 the Calder was the seventh most congested road in Melbourne during am peak and the ninth in PM peak.
The report went on to demonstrate that by 2031 the Calder Freeway would be the second most congested road in Melbourne during AM peak and the third in PM peak.
Brimbank Mayor Cr Lucinda Congreve said the report confirmed Council’s ongoing concerns about the Calder Freeway and would help strengthen its advocacy efforts to seek further investment for the troubled arterial.
“Council welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment to fund up to $50 million to upgrade the Calder, but if we are serious about the needs of the communities in Australia’s fastest growing region, we need action and real dollars.
“We need modern and reliable infrastructure. At a recent meeting I had with Federal Minister for Cities and Population, Alan Tudge, I highlighted that local, state and federal government have to come together to help address congestion across the west.
“We discussed the Federal Government’s North West City Deal and this deal could indeed be catalyst to help address these issues.
“Likewise the Melbourne Airport Rail Link and the Sunshine Super Hub Projects have the potential to radically improve transport connections across Melbourne.
“It is critical that we get a working group established to look at job, business and social procurement opportunities during the construction and post construction for this project.
“We want an Integrated Transport Plan for the west that considers all of the actions needed to get the west moving. Our infrastructure has to keep pace with our population.
“If we get these projects, in particular the precinct work around the Sunshine Super Hub right, we can become the capital of the West in terms of business, jobs, education, and social opportunities.
“Plain and simple, more jobs in Sunshine will mean less congestion.
“The Infrastructure Australia Report has highlighted we all need to take action to alleviate congestion now.
“Council is very keen to have a seat at the table and represent the views of our community on projects in the infrastructure pipeline.
“We hope the Federal Government takes the time to read their own report and get a deeper understanding of just how important the Calder Freeway upgrade is to the people of the west and greater Melbourne and Victoria.
“We will also continue to request a Working Group be set up now to prepare for major projects including the Melbourne Airport Rail Link,” Cr Congreve said.