The Western Distributor Design Update

September 20, 2015 2 Comments

WD

Transurban have released an updated design for the Western Distributor. The new design includes moving the Southern portal from the Westgate Freeway to land behind Francis and Hyde Street, with an off-ramp on to Hyde Street for trucks carrying dangerous goods such as petro-chemical tankers.  MTAG supports, in principle, the option for placarded loads to directly access the freeway.  It was a significant flaw in the original design, particularly as petrol tankers form the majority of Francis Street’s night time truck traffic.

BUT…like the Friends of Stony Creek and many residents, we are very concerned about the potential new impacts on open space and parkland. How will the flyovers and new portal impact on Stony Creek reserve? What will the noise and air quality impacts be on nearby residents?

We will be meeting with Transurban this week and will seek to understand these impacts better, as well as if there are other options for removing placarded loads off our streets.

We understand many residents are distressed about this new development.  We do appreciate feedback from affected residents as we try to understand this proposal further.  MTAG have always lobbied for improved noise, air quality and residential amenity for all residents of the inner west and we’re not about to back down on this.  For MTAG and the community to have any influence over these decisions it’s VITAL that affected residents get active on this, it can’t just be MTAG’s voice alone.

MTAG were sought for comment on the new design, including an article in The Age and a story on the ABC news.

Some other features of the new proposal include putting the power lines underground behind the Yarraville Community Centre and the completion of the Federation Trail.  They are also considering the option of moving the Northern portal further North East to reduce the impact on Yarraville Gardens.

Have a look at Transurban’s website for more information, including some new community consultation dates.

We will aim to keep you updated as we continue our discussions with Transurban, Maribyrnong City Council, State Government and the trucking industry.

 

2 responses to "The Western Distributor Design Update"

  • Paul says: (Edit)

    This is a deceitful, cost cutting exercise dressed as a public benefit. Don’t allow Transurban to swindle you like this.While this revised plan offers the additional benefit of direct access to the Westgate Fwy for trucks carrying dangerous loads via Hyde Street (just as the West Gate Distributor proposed) this is the cheapest and most destructive way to achieve this. As Daniel Andrew’s West Gate Distributor proposal showed, the ramps to the Freeway can hug the side of the Freeway with minimal disruption to parkland while keeping noise and pollution further away from residents.Transurban Victoria general manager Vin Vassallo claims “relocating the tunnel southern portal gets dangerous goods trucks, such as tankers from the fuel terminals straight onto the freeway network.” This is misleading and blatantly false. Placarded, hazardous loads, such as tankers are prohibited from using tunnels so the location of the portal is irrelevant to achieving this outcome or improving amenity. Transurban have found the budgetary savings to add the Hyde St - West gate connection by reducing the length of the tunnel by taking the cheapest most direct route through the Reserve and placing the portal amongst homes. Transurban claim to have conducted wide community consultation in revising this design however I recall one of the biggest talking points on the interactive map being the fierce opposition to any damage to the Reserve and the portal being located within it. The community has worked hard for over a decade to transform the Reserve into the beautiful park it is today - and a welcome contrast to the industry that surrounds it. It is also claimed that placing the portal opposite homes will minimise disruption during construction to traffic on the Wesgate. A few months of disruption however will equal faster travel times for all once complete but lead to complete loss of amenity and health issues for the families of Beverley, Hyde, Lormer, Stepehen Street and Banool Ave and the destruction of the Reserve forever. In compensation for dissecting Hyde Street Reserve and putting the Portal entrance only metres from homes, Transurban has offered rehabilitate a small piece of land on Beverley Street. This land is currently capped by concrete as it is a former quarry that was back filled with hazardous industrial was from 1950 – 1970 by the local factories. Thanks Transurban but you can keep your few meters of grass and we’ll keep our Reserve that we have been rehabilitating for years. There is still no guarantee that trucks would use the route without blanket truck bans on Francis Street. There are such low margins in freight transport that we see cost cutting regularly in the industry (look at Cootes record of fleet servicing and fatalities). We can have the second river crossing and a direct access from Hyde St, while saving the Reserve from being dissected by a spaghetti Junction of noisy truck ramps and keep the portal from homes. We the people of the West should not be shortchanged to save a multinational a few dollars. We need to continue to fight for greater rail and to keep the portal on the Freeway and keep the ramps parallel to the Fwy as originally planned to preserve green space.

  • Stuart says: (Edit)

    Both this current ramp design and the previous West Gate Distributor do nothing to solve the problem of noise and pollution, it just moves it from one area to another. If anything noise will be worse when trucks use breaks on the incline and at a high level. Bringing pollution to parks and ovals where children play sport is a terrible solution.