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A transport blueprint that is half a century old is still dictating planning in Melbourne, leading to hundreds more kilometres of road being built than new railway, public transport advocates warn.
The Public Transport Users Association said Melbourne’s congestion was set to worsen if a car-centric road map drawn up by bureaucrats in the late 1960s continued to shape key infrastructure decisions.
Melbourne's traffic congestion is set to worsen, according to the Public Transport Users Association.CREDIT:MICHAEL CLAYTON-JONES
Marking the 50th anniversary since the launch of the Melbourne Transportation Plan in December 1969, the lobby group’s analysis of transport projects built in the years since shows that 320 kilometres of freeways or tollways have been built, with another 25 kilometres under construction.
By comparison, the suburban rail network has been expanded by only 72 kilometres, with another nine kilometres under construction.
Many of Melbourne's major highways can be traced back to the decades-old blueprint, including the Metropolitan Ring Road and the Eastern, Tullamarine, West Calder, Monash and West Gate freeways. The North East Link and the dumped East West Link also had their roots in the document.
The long-term vision pitched to successive Victorian governments suggested that 86 per cent of a proposed $2.6 billion (in 1968 dollars) be spent on more than 1000 kilometres of new roads, and the remaining 14 per cent spent on public transport.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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