Manningham Council has welcomed commencement of works on the Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) but is disappointed that the first phase will not include a station at Doncaster.
Manningham Mayor, Cr Andrew Conlon said Manningham is the only municipality in metropolitan Melbourne not serviced by a train or tram link.
“Manningham residents have waited 126 years for a rail connection. They deserve access to a decent public transport system that includes a rail line.
“In lieu of the rail line not reaching Doncaster, a dedicated bus link should be implemented now connecting Doncaster to the education, employment and health precincts proposed along the stage 2 SRL route.
"An expres bus link should be created to link Doncaster to the four education and employment precincts of Monash, La Trobe, Deakin and Box Hill TAFE.
"This bus link is crucial in providing access for our residents between these major knowledge and employment precincts and will help maintain Victoria's status as the 'Education State'.
“The demand for access to Melbourne’s south-east from Manningham and the northern suburbs is a key reason for the Government’s North East Link project. At the same time the Government must cater for this demand for people who do not drive or want a sustainable transport option,” Cr Conlon said.
“We want to ensure a station is included in the planning of SRL stage 2. With Doncaster Hill continuing to grow, we recommend a site for the Doncaster Station is secured now, while the land is still available.
“A rail connection to Doncaster via the SRL will ease traffic gridlock and provide a sustainable transport option to the area.
“Our 125,500 Manningham residents rely solely on the bus network for public transport. We’re calling on the Andrews Government to do the right thing by our community and ensure Manningham is included in Victoria’s Big Build.”
With no access to trains or trams car ownership per household in Manningham is considerably high.Residents have a lower rate of public transport use for daily tracel for employment purposes than the metropolitan average.
A rail connection between Doncaster and Box Hill would provide an alternative for residents of the growing Doncaster Hill area to travel around metropolitan Melbourne and to the CBD.
“We are tired of our residents not being considered in these big decisions. Manningham needs better public transport options and we need it now,” Cr Conlon said.