Westlink Tunnel and Truck Action Plan response

July 13, 2010 22 Comments

PRESS RELEASE

TRUCK ACTION PLAN

The Maribyrnong Truck Action Group welcomes the announcement of the route for the Truck Action Plan but is asking that the Brumby Government funds the project rather than relying on the Federal Government.

The project will take up to 10,000 trucks a day off Somerville Rd and Francis St via ramps from the Westgate Freeway then an upgraded route to the port.

“This project is urgently needed in the inner west. The government’s preferred route is one that is be supported by the community at large and is the option which will have the least impact on Stony Creek. Importantly, this infrastructure will bring relief to many thousands of residents as well as improve freight efficiency.”

“The only issue is funding. Infrastructure Australia did not include the project in its recommendations and it’s time that the Brumby government just gets on with it and funds it from the state budget. We’ve been waiting for action for 11 years now.”

WESTLINK TUNNEL

Of the three options presented in the Victorian Transport Plan, two are completely unviable and will simply shift traffic problems from Central Footscray to West Footscray. These are the options with the shorter tunnels.

The third option with a tunnel portal further west near Paramount Rd would solve truck traffic problems in Footscray and have minimal impact on other residents.

“This third option with a longer tunnel makes sense as a long term option if the government is committed to building a tunnel, and would not be opposed by MTAG. However, we question the economics of this measure.”

“The tunnel will cost billions. This money would be better spent putting freight onto rail, building inland freight ports, improving freight efficiencies through the use of latest technology and global industry best practice, and taking cars off the streets by upgrading public transport.”

More information and interactive maps…

22 responses to "Westlink Tunnel and Truck Action Plan response"

  • Leila says: (Edit)

    Anyone know if the section of road they are planning to build on Whitehall Street, just before Francis Street, is above ground or underground? How can the government think that their preferred route is ecological for residents of Yarraville? We are a suburb, not a truck route for funnelling noisy, polluting semi-trailers through!!

  • Bill says: (Edit)

    It will be above ground. It won't be much different in Whitehall St to the current situation except that the road will be improved and there will be extra measures to protect residential amenity. The route preferred will bring great benefits to the vast majority of residents in Yarraville

  • adam says: (Edit)

    >The route preferred will bring great benefits to the vast majority of residents in Yarraville I'd wait until more information is provided. What extra measures will protect residential amenity are you aware of? The ramps may indeed become an alternate route to the City. Bad for Yarraville. Truck bans on Francis and Somerville may never be imposed. Bad for Yarraville. Hyde Street North being freely accessible from the south. Bad for Yarraville. There is potential for great benefits, however until more information is made available anyone giving the Government and the proposal glowing praise is either short sighted or setting themselves up to be conned.

  • Leila says: (Edit)

    Thanks for your reply Bill. I'm curious, exactly how will the government's preferred route bring great benefits to the vast majority of residents in Yarraville? Surely MTAG's 5 point plan will bring the greatest benefits to the local residents?

  • Bill says: (Edit)

    Leila... There are two separate projects, the 5-Point plan is a response to Westlink Tunnel, the Truck Action Plan which involves the Westgate ramps is something we have lobbied for and promoted for a number of years. It will take about 10,000 trucks a day off residential streets. Adam... I think we've been through all of this before on separate threads. I'm an optimist. Yes we need to continue to work towards good outcomes... we will do that and I'm confident we will achieve our goals.

  • Andrew says: (Edit)

    I don't know how anyone in the Maribyrnong council region can think this Westlink tunnel will be a good thing. It doesn't even connect freeways, instead ending in a T intersection. Why not at least exhaust all other options before evicting people out of their homes and possibly increasing traffic in an already congested inner Melbourne region. Considering the majority of the western suburbs are ALP supporters, this will surely cost the government the election.

  • Jenny says: (Edit)

    This is a deadset disaster and a waste of money. (1) the Tunnel goes nowhere. One end empties out into Brooklyn which will flood Sunshine, West Sunshine, Brooklyn etc with trucks doifn rat runs. The other edn is a T intersection that empties onto Dynon and Footscray Rds which are already full!! (2) A huge number of vehicles going intot he city from the West would use PT if it was accessible and reliable. (3) Where is Marsha "Missing in Action Thomson ? People and businesses are screaming out for help and she is handing out good news letters to residents in Railyway Place!. What about the rest of the electorate which is set to be destroyed? Safe seats gets screwed.

  • Greg says: (Edit)

    The ramps are a start, but need to be accompanied by strictly enforced permanent 24 hour truck curfews for full benefits to be delivered to residents. I've got an easy and cheap solution to enforce 24 hour truck curfews on Francis Street: lower the clearance of the train underpass.

  • adam says: (Edit)

    >The ramps are a start, but need to be accompanied by strictly enforced permanent 24 hour truck curfews for full benefits to be delivered to residents. The ramps will be an unequivocal disaster if at a minimum, strictly enforced 24 hour truck curfews are not used. Unfortunately, none of the cheer leaders on this site are willing to recognise this irrefutable fact. Evidence suggests the curfews will not work, they have never worked and in my opinion never will. Furthermore, they can be lifted at any time. Whilst, your suggestion of a lower train underpass would not work, the notion of physical infrastructure to block truck traffic is correct. Unfortunately, the latest available information, is the only measure being considered is a noise barrier. It is also worth noting that, curfews or not, the ramps will make Yarraville even more of a throughfare for traffic commuting to and from the CBD.

  • Bill says: (Edit)

    >The ramps will be an unequivocal disaster if at a minimum, strictly enforced 24 hour truck curfews are not used. Unfortunately, none of the cheer leaders on this site are willing to recognise this irrefutable fact. You're right 24 hour curfews are an important part of the ramps' success. Curfews are an important part of our platform and we have been insistent about this from the beginning. It's a puzzling that you claim we have never recognised their importance Adam, but you seem to like taking any opportunity to knock us about the head. Cheerleaders we are I guess... dumb suckers who give up their evenings and other spare time to try to work towards good outcomes for the community. The frustrating thing about you is you have never once offered one single positive idea, you seem to just love to knock. And actually you're wrong about the effect of curfews, sure they are not perfect but if you look at the facts they have reduced night time truck traffic enormously.

  • Emily says: (Edit)

    I really appreciate that mtag members have been at it for a long time and put in a lot of effort on behalf of truck traffic in the inner west. However part of your responsibility as an advocacy group is to realise that your ‘voice’ is now much louder than other residents. Even at the community consultation meetings on the off-ramps this was clear. I don't think many people have problems with the 'designated route', just some well-justified reservations that this route will be used unless there's some unequivocal enforcement. There are some very real concerns that residents around the ramps have and these should not be so quickly dismissed. So far, in response to direct questions to VicRoads, there has no convincing detail on how they will ensure truck and substantial volumes of outer western suburban car traffic will be prevented from simply continuing down Hyde Street instead of taking that tight turn into Francis Street. In fact, there hasn't even been any firm committment to maintaining the existing truck curfew on Hyde St North. Nothing on protecting the amenity at Yarraville Gardens. I, for one, am very glad to see Adam’s posts. He may be cynical but he is not always negative. He is one of the few people on this forum who restates issues very close to my concerns with perception and persistence. The whole point of an online public forum is to allow for the publication of a diversity of views. If mtag does not enjoy hearing this dissent then I am genuinely concerned, particularly in the context of changes to the process used by the state government for collecting community opinion where they are now much more likely to harvest the press release from mtag than assimilate a more complex view on the impact of the off-ramps.

  • adam says: (Edit)

    Emily - I encourage you to speak to David Lewis from VicRoads. The only reason I post on this site, is that its well read by decision makers and local journalists. > It’s a puzzling that you claim we have never recognised their importance Its hard to argue with statements such as "Everyone will benefit from the ramps". I have never read anything paraphrasing "We support the implementation of the ramps, if and only if they are deployed with relevant curfews on inner west streets". I cannot recall any announcement placing curfews at the forefront of any discussion. Please correct me if I am wrong (with evidence). I cannot fathom how anyone can think that the ramps without curfews (and infrastructure changes) would be good for the inner west. >Adam, but you seem to like taking any opportunity to knock us about the head Its true I am no longer a supporter. I applaud the effort of all community groups, including MTAG, however I disapprove your blanket acceptance of the ramps, purely because your approach is flagrant and potentially destructive. You get upset about some justifiable and structured discussion, how do you think residents at risk feel? Lastly, where are all the other MTAG members (Karen, Martin, Shau, Peter, Elwyn etc). Do they also think that the ramps without curfews is still a win for Yarraville/Seddon/Kingsville? >And actually you’re wrong about the effect of curfews, sure they are not perfect but if you look at the facts they have reduced night time truck traffic enormously. There are lots of factors - such as pushing trucks onto other streets, port operating hours, containter yard planning restrictions etc. Besides implementing curfews when traffic volumes are light is a very different proposition to day time curfews. Lastly, the main article on this site explains why the curfews are working - the path of least resistance. >(Emily)However part of your responsibility as an advocacy group is to realise that your ‘voice’ is now much louder than other residents. This depends, I can name half a dozen key stakeholders whom now accept that MTAG no longer represents the 'community'.

  • Peter says: (Edit)

    I'll try to address some of this quickly: - We of course do welcome discussion and these issues are important - Adam, I think the frustration with your criticisms arises because you repeat the same thing over and over and do not seem to accept any reassurance or suggestion that perhaps we are addressing you concerns. I kind of agree with Bill, you do seem to like to just knock. It would be fantastic to hear from you as to what you think is a viable alternative to the ramps. - Re curfews: In EVERY single meeting or representation we have made to VicRoads and government the importance of curfews and measures to keep the traffic away from residents has been on top of the agenda. The thing is, one of the reasons why the ramps are being built is to appease the community in Yarraville. Without curfews the ramps will not achieve this, it's kind of self-evident. My apologies if our press releases don't reflect this in the manner you would like. - The core of MTAG is unchanged (although Elwyn is no longer as involved as he was) and the unanimous support for the ramps has not shifted since MTAG's formation. - Adam I'm sure you would have no problem in finding people who disagree with MTAG but I can assure that we receive overwhelming support from people who contact us in a range of different ways. - Emily come to a meeting if you would like to offer your ideas etc (you're welcome too Adam)

  • Stuart says: (Edit)

    I share the share the same frustrations with Bills responses. He seems to think everyone should be happy with the proposed Ramps. I am of the opinion building new roads and ramps over nature reserves, golf courses and sporting fields is a terrible solution. Deliberately wanting to encroach on these green spaces is a terrible solution. I am not saying I have a better solution, I just don't want to listen to people saying this solution is great and a benefit for the whole community. Residents of Spotswood and Yarraville residence close to the freeway WILL be effected. Again the problem is not solved just moved elsewhere.

  • Bill says: (Edit)

    There is no perfect solution but the vast majority of residents will have improved lives as a result of these ramps. I don't think or expect everyone will be happy, that's impossible, but I will continue to argue vigorously for what I believe is right. You are against the ramps because you perceive they will have a direct negative impact on you personally - you completely refuse to look at the bigger picture. That's your choice but I guess it also explains your refusal to offer anything constructive at all in terms of a possible alternative. When I look at the bigger picture it seems pretty clear to me that these ramps will result in a significant improvement to a very bad situation. And many people agree, including people from The Greens, the ALP, Liberal Party, VicRoads, Maribyrnong City Council, No Freeway 4 West Footscray, TWU. If this is such an unfair plan, if this is a plan that will simply 'shift the problem' how does it attract this kind of cross-section of support?? It's not just bad ole Bill and MTAG...

  • Stuart says: (Edit)

    I can see the bigger picture. Yarraville will benefit if the ramps are built, and green space within Spotswood will be compromised to do so. Yarraville is a bigger suburb with a bigger voice. Spotswood not so. The 10,000 trucks a day you talk of that previously went through Yarraville will now go through Spotswoods green space.

  • Peter says: (Edit)

    OK well thanks for your input Stuart, I guess we're probably not going to agree but it's good to get your perspective

  • Stuart says: (Edit)

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/move-the-port-by-2040-20100903-14ui1.html

  • Stuart says: (Edit)

    Our local paper recently had Janet Rice saying the Westgate freeway ramps are a must. Today's Age newspaper with regards to the freeway under Footscray has Janet saying ''You can't solve road problems by building new roads,'' Which is it Janet?

  • Bill says: (Edit)

    There's no contradiction here Stuart much as you'd like to distort this to suggest there is. The problem in Yarraville is not a road problem but a health problem and an issue of freight access to the port. Very different from almost any other 'road problem' you can nominate.

  • Stuart says: (Edit)

    Not trying to distort anything Bill. I understand I am wasting my time on this forum as people here only have Maribrynongs and their own interests at heart. But will be taking the fight for NO RAMPS IN SPOTSWOOD elsewhere.

  • Bill says: (Edit)

    Good luck to you Stuart, your views are welcome in this forum (though I disagree with you). And community participation is a good thing. More of it!!