Eddington Report Discussion Forum

April 2, 2008 32 Comments

The Eddington Report is possibly the best news MTAG has had since it was formed nearly four years ago. It basically recommends everything we have been asking for since MTAG’s inception. It is not perfect and needs tweaking but if his truck action plan is implemented it will solve most truck traffic problems in the inner West. It also answers our critics. Here’s a quote from Age article and more…

“A new truck link would also be built off the West Gate on to Hyde Street under Sir Rod’s plan, to remove the thousands of freight vehicles that use local streets in the inner west each day. Trucks would then be banned from local streets in the area, and arterial roads improved so that freight was forced to bypass residential areas”.

Also it may be useful to read the discussion below before posting.

32 responses to "Eddington Report Discussion Forum"

  • james says: (Edit)

    Hi folks, from the initial media around the release, it doesn't make much sense to me. How many Werribee / Hoppers commuters need to go to Doncaster or Brunswick to work? Trucks can already go from the ports to the princes hwy via citilink north or the west gate west. Where is the duplication of the westgate for commuters to the city or a consolidated truck route from the container parks to the Ports? Havent read the report yet so I may be missing something.

  • Jeremy says: (Edit)

    Hi All, I understand the focus of your group is around the area of Francis St, and the bypass suggested by yourselves and the Eddington report addresses this. However, as a resident of Footscray, close to Footscray road, this provides no solution. The proximity of trucks to residential streets at the northern end of Whitehall street is equally problematic and needs addressing. This area is increasing in density through new residential and commercial development, and therefore a long term solution needs to see truck routes removed from ALL areas west of the Maribyrnong and north of Francis Street. I therefore suggest that any new exit from the West Gate should continue right through to Footscray and Dynon roads on the east bank of the Maribyrnong, with the aim of gradually removing all larger scale industrial premises from Yarraville altogether. A 1.5km tunnel between Hyde St and Coode Island, with a surface road continuing to Dynon Road, would deliver most trucks to their port destinations efficiently and would allow Whitehall and Napier streets to become local roads. Such a route would provide a clear delineation between port and industrial areas east of the Maribyrnong and residential and commercial areas west of the river. The plan above, however, continues this awkward interface between residential and industrial areas and truck routes that currently exists, albeit with alleviation of the problems for some.

  • Peter says: (Edit)

    Actually the exit from the West Gate freeway includes a bridge over the Maribyrnong to the port for trucks so would take all trucks of the northern end of Whitehall. And our group is not just focussed on Francis St, but it has become emblematic of this struggle. Our next planned blockade is on the corner of Buckley St and Victoria St Footscray

  • Dylan says: (Edit)

    Interestingly, most of the trucks I have observed coming up the northern part of Whitehall St at night come out of the port area via Footscray Rd, turn right into Whitehall and then up to Moore via Hopkins. In this case there is already a dedicated truck route within the port precinct (Docklink Rd) but they still choose to go through the residential strip instead. The new truck route proposals in the "Truck Action Plan" of the Eddington Report do look promising, however it is important to back them up with bans across all of the residential streets.

  • Peter says: (Edit)

    Dylan, I'm not totally across the situation you mention with regards Docklink Rd. Would you be interested in coming to a meeting so we can all learn more about it? If so please email me on info at mtag.org.au

  • Jeremy says: (Edit)

    Thanks Peter. There is no mention of a new bridge over the Maribyrnong in the Truck Action Plan on the DOI website. It shows the map as per the one above, which suggests a link into Whitehall Street. In any case, I believe that longer term planning should aim to remove truck movements and freight industries from all parts of Yarraville. There is significant tracts of underutilised land between the Mobil terminal and Footscray Rd. Maintaining ANY truck movements through this area removes the possibility of longer term regeneration of the area for uses that are more appropriate to an inner city location.

  • Jeremy says: (Edit)

    On another matter, the Truck Action Plan suggests the widening of Ballarat road between Ashley St and Geelong road as a major truck route. This seems an absurd suggestion considering that several larger scale multi storey developments have taken place along that route, and it is mostly a residential road. The entire area east of Ashley St is mostly residential, and it would seem logical that freight traffic should all be sent south down the new Ashley St link to the Westgate. Again, if these suggestions have come from MTAG, it seems that the primary focus is to shift freight movements from Francis st and Somerville Rd at the expense of others within the broader area. Suggesting that freight be encouraged onto this section of Ballarat Rd would result in the exact type of negative amenity issues that Francis St residents are seeking relief from.

  • Peter says: (Edit)

    This did not come from MTAG and we are currently having a good look at the plan before submitting a detailed response as part of the community consultation process. Certainly our aim is not to shift the problem. And we will be pushing for a bridge across the Maribyrnong Thanks for your input

  • Peter says: (Edit)

    And can I encourage all readers to chip in here. The comments from Jeremy and Dylan are incredibly useful for the public consultation process that is happening over the next couple of months. We have to put in a submission as a response to the report. It's important to remember that we are just residents, we are not transport experts and so input from other residents like this is just invaluable. We're here to represent all residents of Maribyrnong and to trying to communicate the experience of living with all these trucks... so it's not just about statistics and lines on the page

  • adam says: (Edit)

    The off ramp from the Westgate Freeway onto Hyde Street is really confusing. Will the proposed off-ramp allow trucks (and cars?) to exit the Westgate and EITHER go along Hyde Street (north of Francis St) or Whitehall Street? The map above somewhat indicates that it will not, but there are a few large tanks in the way preventing the proposed road to be constructed. Having x number of trucks travelling north along Hyde Street, would be equally (if not more) problematic than the issues along Francis Street. BTW, nice discussion.

  • Justine says: (Edit)

    I too am interested in this discussion. As a resident of Droop Street in Footscray I was alarmed to learn of the Eddington Report's recommendation of a widening of Ballarat Road from Ashley street until the intersection with Geelong Road. As noted by Jeremy above, this road is primarily residential (with some industrial, medical and commercial usage). The DOI website appears to indicate that this was recommended as a way of taking truck traffic away from residential streets in Yarraville/Seddon (see Fact Sheet 5 on the Truck Action Plan). It seems to me that this is just shifting the problem from one residential area to another - less trucks in Francis St and Whitehall St but more trucks down Ballarat Rd (which already carries a large number of trucks). I have been concerned because from what I've seen in the media it seems as though both MTAG and Maribyrnong Council are supportive of this recommendation (because it has not specifically been excluded in any of the press releases I have read). I feel as though residents of Footscray, Maidstone and Braybrook are being done over in favour of those in other areas of Maribyrnong. As a number of people have noted above, it should be about shifting trucks from all areas in the west. It should be about getting smarter about our freight transport (e.g. less road widening and more rail improvements so that freight can be shifted from the port to pickup points for road freight which are in outer commercial/industrial parts of the city - this would be better than spending money on an east-west tunnel).

  • Justine says: (Edit)

    Further to my previous comment, I know that there has been some research that indicates road widening does not lead to reduced traffic. It, in fact, increases traffic. So the net result of widening Ballarat Road may even see an increase in traffic on local streets as people seek alternative routes. The Eddington Report suggests that Ballarat Road is a bottleneck ('a constraint on the network') and that widening it would increase traffic flow. However it seems to me that the bottleneck derives from the fact that both Ballarat and Geelong Roads connect and are funneled into a single crossing of the Maribyrnong River. Widening Ballarat Road won't solve that problem. The Public Transport Users Association has some more information on their website about how reducing so called traffic bottlenecks does not alleviate traffic congestion.

  • Peter says: (Edit)

    Thanks Justine We have never pushed for a widening of Ballarat Rd and it does seem problematic. Thanks for drawing it to our attention. The Paramount Rd link should take lots of port traffic off Ballarat Rd so it's hard to see why a widening would be necessary

  • adam says: (Edit)

    I agree, that one of the better ways to improve the freight situation, is to get smarter. How many trucks do you see that are not carrying any containers/goods? Why is it so hard to coordinate port activities? One of the reasons the Ballarat Road widening is often suggested, is probably due to the large number of properties already owned by VicRoads, particularly on the south side. Peter do you still have the figures for the stevedoring costs of rail compared with road?

  • Heidi Ranik says: (Edit)

    Hello, Sorry guys, I'm not with you. . . .& the reason I'm against you is for all the good reasons why you are protesting in the first place. The new Eddington proposal simply replaces one suburban street with another. Ashley street is not just any industrial street - it has houses and residents just like you. It is bad enough that the (often) regionally marginalised people who live there have to put up with the chemical & other pollution that drifts there way with any southerly or westerly wind, but you wish to place all of those trucks there as well. Such people generally don't have the voice & skills that you have in drawing attention to your problems. Let's hope you truly understand that you are not in the moral high ground here by encouraging the Eddington solution . . by simply moving a problem from your back yard into someone elses.

  • Peter says: (Edit)

    Well what we're trying to do is engage in the process of finding solutions for all, as I said. The last thing we want to do is to shift the problem. The Sunshine Rd/Westgate link will hopefully alleviate truck traffic in Paramount Rd, Sredna St and Ashley St through the creation of a dedicated truck route. We are taking all feedback on board and will be lobbying for the best possible solution for all. Thanks for taking part in the discussions. Please stay in touch with this.

  • Marty says: (Edit)

    I had been (mistakenly it appears) hopeful that the Maribyrnong Council understood that support of all the Eddington recommendations would ultimately shift the problem from Yarraville /Seddon through to Tottenham/West Footscray. Seriously, did Sir Eddington even come to that part of West Footscray? It hasn't been 'industrial' for many years - we've been here for 20 and there is hardly any left. We all know that to widen the Tottenham underpass, Ashley Street and Ballarat Road (which are increasingly residental and involve shopping areas, is a recipe for disaster. Can you image the trucks plowing through shopping areas, the hospital access areas and VUT with all the student foot traffic? Now that's what I call planning. Several Maribyrnong Councillors indicated at a previous meeting that they did not support the Ashley Street/Ballarat Road parts of the proposal, but today's Mail says that they've opposed only one of the 20 recommendations in the report - and that was the one that gives Port of Melbourne Corp responsibility for implementing an 'intermodal hub network'. That makes me think they're now supporting the widening of Ashley Street and Ballarat Road. The only hope we have is to band together and find a way that alleviates the current problems and does not merely shift them. But it doesn't seem that our Council is going to be much help at all. Any suggestions?

  • Marie says: (Edit)

    Rest assured Marty, the council did not support the widening of Ballarat road and Ashley street. You can see for yourself, their draft submission is on the council's website.

  • Peter says: (Edit)

    I agree with what you're saying... Really surprised to hear that council supports the upgrade of Ashley and widening of Ballarat Rd. I thought there was very little support for that anywhere... here's the letter I sent into the papers the other day... Having spent some time reading and analysing the Eddington Truck Action Plan I am of the view that it represents a great opportunity for the West. It is not perfect and does need some tweaking but it acknowledges the problem of excessive truck traffic and, if implemented, will direct resources to badly needed infrastructure. The concerns expressed by residents of West Footscray, Maidstone and Tottenham, about the implications of the plan for these suburbs are fair enough. Many residents in these suburbs are worried that if the plan is implemented truck traffic will be diverted from the streets of Yarraville and forced onto Ballarat Rd via Ashley St. But it needs to be clearly stated that the Maribyrnong Truck Action group has never advocated the upgrade of Ashley St and widening of Ballarat Rd for the alleviation of truck traffic problems. The last thing we would want to see is the problem shifted from one suburb to another. However, even though these aspects of Eddington’s proposal seem unnecessary that does not mean that the whole thing is flawed. In fact his Truck Action Plan comprises three options, each proposing a suite of measures. MTAG is currently engaged in developing a response as part of the community consultation phase of the project, we think there are good and bad aspects in each of the options and that a combination of elements of the three will produce the best results. It’s too complicated to begin to describe how the whole thing might work in a short letter like this, and therein lies the problem with much of the criticism contained in recent coverage of the issue: it’s too simplistic. Overall though, what we have is the State Government prepared to spend money to get trucks off our streets. This is a good thing! I believe we need to get behind this as a community, to develop a unified response and support those who are pushing for change.

  • Kate says: (Edit)

    I would like to add my support to Heidi's comment regarding West Footscray's residents and the issue of community engagement/advocacy around the Ashley St/Ballarat Road issue. MTAG's fantastic success in generating a grass-roots response to traffic concerns in the west should be broadened beyond the leafy streets of Seddon. It's my understanding that there's been some response from residents with submissions against the proposal to the Dept of Transport - it would be great to see MTAG lend its clear support and advocacy to this issue to ensure there's a united front.

  • Erica says: (Edit)

    There is no doubt that MTAg has been selfish and narrow in its view and as a result in pushing truck and other road traffic to other areas of the West. The Ashley St option is a Disaster, yet you open this story with "The Eddington Report is possibly the best news MTAG has had since it was formed nearly four years ago. It basically recommends everything we have been asking for since MTAG’s inception. It is not perfect and needs tweaking but if his truck action plan is implemented it will solve most truck traffic problems in the inner West" How insular. The East West Tunnel will destroy parkland including Holland Park in Kensington and will mean trucks will be now flooding Sunshine to get into the tunnel on Sunshine Rd. Congratulations MTAG for being so selfish that you have done over Footscray, Maidstone, Braybrook, Sunshine and Kensington. You must be proud.

  • webmaster says: (Edit)

    There is no doubt that MTAg has been selfish and narrow in its view and as a result in pushing truck and other road traffic to other areas of the West. The Ashley St option is a Disaster, yet you open this story with “The Eddington Report is possibly the best news MTAG has had since it was formed nearly four years ago. It basically recommends everything we have been asking for since MTAG’s inception. It is not perfect and needs tweaking but if his truck action plan is implemented it will solve most truck traffic problems in the inner West” How insular. The East West Tunnel will destroy parkland including Holland Park in Kensington and will mean trucks will be now flooding Sunshine to get into the tunnel on Sunshine Rd. Congratulations MTAG for being so selfish that you have done over Footscray, Maidstone, Braybrook, Sunshine and Kensington. You must be proud.
    So even though the MTAG submission makes no mention of support for the Ashley street option or a tunnel you want to post on our site complaining that we are in support. May I ask that you take the time to read our submission, it has been online here for a week or two.

  • Peter says: (Edit)

    It just amazes me that people like Erica read one paragraph then have a spray at MTAG. If you'd read our submission you'd realise that we are not advocating the position you describe. And it really is irksome that you describe us as selfish. We have put in many hundreds of volunteer hours to try to get trucks off residential streets. Personally I don't have anything to gain, I don't even live anywhere near a truck route and am involved just because I feel this is an issue of social justice in the West... the same is true of quite a few of the main people in MTAG. So go ahead and slag us off if it makes you feel good but before you do could I ask you just to invest 15 minutes of your valuable time to inform yourself about what MTAG's position actually is. It's all here on the site. Have a great day!

  • Erica says: (Edit)

    Peter you are just feeling the heat now that Footscray residenst want you drawn and quartered for pushing your truck problem to Ashley St. You have put thousands of hours into pushing your own agenda at the expense of the rest of the municipality. We all read your joke of a submission, but the point is that your focus before the Eddington report and your protest action has all been Yarraville/Seddon based. When Eddington released his report, you claimed that "The Eddington Report is possibly the best news MTAG has had since it was formed nearly four years ago. It basically recommends everything we have been asking for since MTAG’s inception. It is not perfect and needs tweaking but if his truck action plan is implemented it will solve most truck traffic problems in the inner West" So the Truck Action Plan will solve may problems of the inner west will it? Or will it just make the lives of people on Ashley St Footscray a misery. As long as the Yarraville Truck Action Group is happy, then everyone else can just move out of Maribyrnong. Everyone has heard what Peter has to say, now its time for Footscray residents to share a few home truths.

  • Peter says: (Edit)

    Max/Erica (same person), turn down the heat I don’t think I can take it… Most people who read this forum will quickly realise that you have some other agenda going on here. If the government implements our recommendations regarding the truck plan then it should be a pretty good result for the inner West though we do acknowledge there will be some people who won’t be happy. Certainly we are not recommending anything that will create the problems you mention. Anyway mate happy to engage in dialogue here but if you intend to use multiple aliases from the one IP address to get personal and trade insults then ‘ll just get the webmaster to ban you. Most people who use this forum are sensible and reasonable, you’re welcome to continue if you can behave yourself. OK?

  • Max says: (Edit)

    I don't know about you, but I have a partner (Erica) and one PC. Your recommendations are too late, you have already pushed the problem to Footscray, and even your patronising remarks won't change that. Have a look up and around your site and you will see that we aren't the only ones that think you have sold Footscray out.

  • Peter says: (Edit)

    Whatever Max... you and your partner seem much more interested in insulting me than in actually engaging with the issues. You both seem quite angry so I'll conclude saying that MTAG has never recommended ANYTHING that would push truck traffic into West Footscray and Sunshine and never would, but it seems like nothing I say will convince you. In contrast, most of the people who have raised concerns on this site and who have brought up valid issues have not found any such need for insults. We've taken these concerns directly into our discussions and also have incorporated them into our Eddington response. So you're taking your anger out on the wrong people, we're the people who could help you and lobby for you if the government actually did decide to widen Ashley St and Ballarat Rd.

  • Philip says: (Edit)

    Max... I find it immensely arrogant to claim some moral high ground over a community group. I am a member of MTAG and I live in Footscray. The amount of work done by members of MTAG over the last few years is staggering. You refer to MTAG as if we were some business entity with a financial stake in this. The truck issue is one for the whole community to deal with. MTAG is open to all and has had input from people all over Maribyrnong. Why would a Footscray local like me want to divert trucks into Footscray? I find your comments ignorant and insulting, and if you are truly interested in the problem as it exists now then get off your ass and do something instead of pouring a bucket on residents of Maribyrnong who did all the work to bring this problem to the attention of government. What you fail to understand is that if nothing at all is done now all of Maribyrnong will be swimming in trucks in a few years. Regardless of that, what is going on now in Yarraville is immoral and the residents deserve the support of all of us in the community.

  • Max says: (Edit)

    So when should we expect an MTAG blockade of Ashley St.

  • Peter says: (Edit)

    Well in all seriousness if the government makes a decision that will shift the problem from the streets of Yarraville to any other residential area in Maribyrnong then we will respond with a blockade. I would be utterly surprised if there was an announcement of a widening of Ashley St and Ballarat Rd but if they do can we rely on you to roll up your sleeves Max? Are you doer or just a talker? This is in all likelihood an academic question as we expect and hope the the main measures that will be implemented to get trucks off suburban streets will put them on the Westgate where they belong.

  • warren says: (Edit)

    as a resident of west footscray and a part of west footscray that won't be effected by truck routes, i have to say that i joined MTAG B4 the eddington report was released and joined both rallys on francis street in support of my maribynong brothers and sisters, and have personally spoken to Peter and from my judgement of him peter comes across as a person of integrity and by no means does he seem like a person running his own selfish hidden agenda. The motto of MTAG is (trucks off our residential streets) so i encourage the wider community of maribynong to join MTAG and not to politically try and assassinate the people out there doing good (unpaid) work for the benefit of our greater community (like Peter) I am sure when the government acts on this report and makes a decision that might effect some residents of our community Peter will be on the front line fighting for us

  • David Lyons says: (Edit)

    There is a plan already in place to get a % of freight from the Docks on to rail. I think it is 8%. Do we know how the government is going towards reaching this target? As someone else said, we need to also look long term at these issues and the long term answer is "getting smarter about our freight transport .....More rail improvements so that freight can be shifted from the port to pickup points for road freight which are in outer commercial/industrial parts of the city - this would be better than spending money on an east-west tunnel" David Lyons Green candidate for Saltwater Ward