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THE state government should be congratulated for considering a new road linking the Eastern Freeway and CityLink (The Saturday Age, 31/3). As our population grows, we need this link to assist in reducing traffic congestion.
However, the government will need funds and input from Infrastructure Australia. It is unbelievable that Greens MP Adam Bandt says that if the federal government ''wants to fund this madness, they are going to have to come through me''. He is arrogant and overestimates his power. Mr Bandt, you are out of touch. Remember, the next election will be held in 2013.
Peter Allan, Blackburn
A flawed plan
ROADS are very expensive, encourage more car trips, carry a fraction of the number of people that trains do and deliver poor results because they reach capacity soon after they are built. There is room to fit a train line to Doncaster down the middle of the Eastern Freeway.
And a note to pollies: you can still have your photo taken in a hard hat and safety vest on public transport construction sites.
Adam Hutterer, Northcote
Road lobby's con
BY PLANNING an east-west road tunnel, the government has fallen for the outdated ''trick'' inflicted by the road lobby: it is better to move vehicles than people.
Movement to and across Melbourne could be better achieved by building the East Doncaster rail link and putting it underground beneath Fitzroy to meet the City Loop. This would make any road tunnel redundant.
Rod Watson, East Brighton
The better option
TRAFFIC studies continue to confirm that nearly all traffic from the east is headed to the CBD or nearby areas, not to Citylink and the west. It would be best handled by a high-quality, rapid-transit system from the eastern and north-eastern suburbs to the CBD, with effective connections to the entire inner-city public transport network. The federal government might fund the Doncaster rail line.
Even on a Saturday during the AFL season, traffic jams occur at the western end of the Eastern Freeway. The answer is not more road space heading further west but an attractive suburban rail service that carries fans past the jam and straight to the grounds. Once a large proportion of CBD-bound trips are diverted to rail, the current generous road space would handle the east-west freight and commercial traffic with ease.
John McPherson, Collingwood
A win for developers
AT A time when the public's preference is clearly for an improved and integrated public transport system, including a rail link from Doncaster to the city, it is unacceptable that the government is considering funding more roads. The only benefactors here will be the developers and toll road operators, not the community.
Freda Watkin, Abbotsford
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