Infrastructure Victoria calls for buses to solve public transport woes

Liberal Party Victoria

The Allan Government’s infrastructure adviser has produced more evidence that the Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) is the wrong transport priority for Melbourne.

Infrastructure Victoria found that “buses can provide faster and more frequent services, operate for longer hours and use routes that better connect shopping precincts, train stations and other activity centres”.

It also found that “investing in a fast, frequent and better-connected bus network is the quickest and cheapest solution to meeting Melbourne’s growing transport needs”.

It mooted a new express bus linking activity areas Dandenong to Ringwood, via Rowville, just east of the proposed SRL alignment, with a potential for rapid bus transit to return around $2.60 for every dollar invested.

Shadow Minister for Public Transport, Matthew Guy, said: “Labor’s own infrastructure adviser has joined the deafening chorus of expert opinion that connecting suburban activity areas can be better done by other modes of transport, without spending up to $200 billion that Victoria does not have.

“It is complete arrogance for Premier Jacinta Allan to refuse to listen to any expert about building a single rail line at such cost when the same result can be achieved by spending so much less.

“What’s clear is that a rail line from Cheltenham to Box Hill will not have anywhere near the same economic return as rapid bus transit. Building the SRL now will mean Metro 2 can’t be built, it means that big regional rail projects like Geelong Fast Rail have stalled and it means Melbourne won’t get an airport rail.

“No Victorian voted to restrict every bit of infrastructure funding for the next decade into one single project in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

“Labor says that Melbourne will eventually have the population of London and that’s why the SRL is needed. But London has five airports – Heathrow, Gatwick, City, Luton and Stansted – and every one of them has a rail connection, Labor should get their priorities right before embarking on this up to $200 billion project.”

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