Tuesday, October 07, 2014

A most puzzling polictical decision

Box Hill, fairly safe Liberal
Doncaster, Liberal
Bulleen, Liberal
Mitcham, fairly safe Liberal
Forest Hill, probably the only seat that might swing.
The inner seats are safe Labor, but there is a danger to Labor from the Greens. The middle seats are Liberal. (NB the Liberal Party is the conservative party)

So why is Premier Napthine so hell bent on building this extraordinary folly known as East West Link.

I don't see political advantage for him really. I can see he could get political advantage by spending $8 billion elsewhere. I've called it the Fox Tunnel in the past. Fox being a trucking company, perhaps that is the reason for the tunnel.

Temporary sign have been erected in Punt Road, saying how the government will reduce Melbourne's car congestion by building the tunnel. I can't see how building the road tunnel in the north will affect Punt Road at all. The most mysterious claim is that it is a second crossing over the Yarra River. Well, firstly there is more than one crossing over the Yarra from east to west. Secondly, I don't see in the plans another bridge being built to get across the Yarra. So why is it another crossing?

This tunnel, foolishly signed up to by Premier Napthine is totally beyond my understanding. If I was more analytical I might be able to work out the benefit to the trucking industry properly, but I can't.

If Premier Napthine really must spend a lot of money on roads, I can see some benefit in linking East Link to the Ring Road.

What disturbs me the most is that Victoria is crying out for public transport improvements and $8 billion on a tunnel pay road to benefit a very select few is money that could be better spent. 

A letter to a newspaper interested me. Why do boom gates at train level crossings stay down for so long after a train has passed. This can be observed at Kooyong Station, where the train goes through the level crossing and instead of the booms rising as soon as the train has passed, the booms don't rise until the train is stationary at the platform after the boom gates. It seems old signalling is the issue. For mine, it is nonsense given the booms are operated by a person in the signal box. Train passes, lift the booms, lights go green, a few seconds after the rear of the train has cleared the crossing. How hard is that? If signal technology is the fault, then fix it, perhaps with a little money from the $8 billion.

As a society, we do more and more to protect people from their own stupidity. There are some level crossing where there have been horrific crashes between vehicles and trains. These should be a priority for removal. Then there are ones like Murrumbeena that cause long delays to cars, bikes and pedestrians. These should also be a priority. One much applauded planned level crossing removal is Burke Road, Glen Iris. Granted, the traffic there is horrendous but don't believe just because the level crossing is removed you will get a nice free run in Burke Road. The traffic now banks up down the hill from Toorak Road after the crossing and up the hill from Camberwell Junction further along Burke Road.  This will become worse, I should think. Instead of sitting at the level crossing, you will spend more time sitting stationary at the following intersections. I am not saying it shouldn't be done, actually it should have been done when the freeway was put through, but don't think removing this crossing is going to help the terrible Burke Road traffic congestion.

The expert public transport theorists suggest that no matter what is done to alleviate traffic congestion, more cars fill the void. I have lived long enough to see many examples proving this to be true. Money now needs to be spent on public transport and forget the gloss and the political payoffs of new rolling stock. Spend it where it is needed with line extensions, new lines, capacity and behind the scenes to speed the painfully slow train, and tram, systems up.


10 comments:

  1. If Labour wins the state election in November, the whole question of the expensive East West Link would be moot. Wouldn't it?

    Unless.... we are locked into the project already :( Or unless Labour feels obligated to continue with a Conservative commitment :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hels, I have no confidence that the Labor Party will not proceed. They are shoring up inner suburban votes which could go Green by stating it won't go ahead under their government. It is all politics #101.

      Delete
  2. Andrew, I love your post but I hate politicians.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gosia, some are decent, but they get overwhelmed by the party system.

      Delete
  3. Politicians love building tunnels, well Abbot the rabbit that makes sense.
    Fox tunnel what a good name we could put you know who in it and seal the ends.
    I'm a bit nasty this morning.
    Merle..........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clever about Mr Rabbit, Merle. You tunnel sealing proposal would be a good way to spend funds.

      Delete
  4. Too many cars on the road Andrew. Politicians, oh dear, they don't always know the right answers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WA, indeed there are and they are reducing our quality of life.

      Delete
  5. Don't try to understand that must be an international phenomenon. We had bridges built and there was not even a river or a street, and highways which suddenly end in a field. It probably depends on each Politician and their logic is hard to understand ! Our public transport is a scandal ! But to improve that there is no money !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gattina, just hopeless, aren't they.

      Delete