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Our group would like to strongly endorse your recent editorial about fighting for the return the rail to Lang Lang and eventually on to South Gippsland. The traffic on the Monash Freeway even with the widening is becoming an impossible gridlock. The population of South West Gippsland is going to grow from 459,000 people in 2016 to over 704,000 in 2036 an increase of 73% or around 22,000 people per annum. We already have a foretaste of the gridlock to come with the works on the Monash delaying traffic by half an hour in off peak periods and even longer in the peak.
Solving the transport problems for South East Melbourne and SW Gippsland will require an integrated transport plan and a rail solution. The overwhelming evidence is that freeways alone create more congestion and don’t work as an overall solution. Melbourne with it focus on freeways from 1970s is a classic example. Creating a rail loop from Cranbourne around to Pakenham eventually will provide some of the current 300,000 people and anticipated 700,000 with ready access to public transport and take pressure off the Monash.
We will be seeking a policy commitment from political parties in the next election to conduct and initial feasibility study of creating a rail loop (SERL Loop) from Cranbourne around to Pakenham and upgrading the study to extend/reopen the rail line to Leongatha
Numbers count for politicians. We already have some 2500 people on our Facebook sites and intend to build this up to 5000 people to become a credible force for action. Our Facebook site is already being monitored. If we wish to push for the eventual return of rail to both Lang Lang and South Gippsland please join our Facebook site (South West Gippsland Transport Group).
There is already considerable pressure to extend the Cranbourne line to Clyde. The reality is election have been won and lost on public transport and road congestion. Our group will be submitting to South Gippsland’ Council’s plan to maintain the priority for the return of the rail and to work with other council and the state government to develop an integrated transport plan for SE Melbourne and SW Gippsland. South Gippsland Shire is committed in its draft plan for a growth strategy, but a growth strategy without a transport plan for this area is nonsensical.
Spend five minutes and sign up to South West Gippsland Facebook site and become a supporter of our campaign.
Cr Andrew McEwen
Chair SW Gippsland Transport Group
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