Mixed Findings in Doncaster Rail Report

29 Oct 2014
Vibrant and Prosperous Economy

Manningham Council has welcomed the long awaited release of the Doncaster Rail Study Phase One Final Recommendations Report but has expressed reservations regarding some of the report’s findings.

Manningham Council’s Acting Chief Executive, Leigh Harrison said it is unfortunate that it has taken more than 12 months to release this final report and that most of Council’s comments contained in our submission were not considered in the final findings.

“We agree that the rapid transit option is the most viable solution, and look forward to Doncaster rail being delivered within 15 years (by 2029), in accordance with PTV’s statement but Council is most disappointed with the recommendation to terminate the line at Doncaster Park and Ride, and not Doncaster Hill.”

“By 2030, we expect that Doncaster Hill will accommodate more than 10,000 residents and 5,400 apartments, along with several commercial offices in the area, and a possible expansion of Westfield Doncaster – all of which will generate significant traffic congestion without mode shift to public transport, which a rail station on the Hill would accommodate,” he said.

Mr Harrison said Council welcomes the announcement to commence works on Stage 1 of the Victoria Parade and Hoddle Street Bus Upgrade Project and is hopeful that there is bipartisan support for this project. We also look forward to further improvements and more capacity for buses to Manningham.

“We also welcome PTV’s announcement to undertake further investigations in 2015/16 into likely patronage figures and further engineering work on alignment and station footprints, which we assume will form Phase Two of the study as first promised by the Premier in 2010.”

“Council acknowledges the report’s findings that the East West Link (EWL) will not preclude a future Doncaster Rail line, however, irrespective of this, it appears that the proposed rail alignment is being altered to accommodate the EWL, potentially adding additional cost to build rail.”

Mr Harrison said Council will be keen to see how the two stated, precedent projects – the Melbourne Rail Link and the South Morang decoupling – will be programmed in conjunction with Doncaster Rail, in order to ensure the delivery of Doncaster Rail within 15 years.

“If the Melbourne Rail Link proposed completion year is 2026, then there will need to be overlap between these three projects to deliver Doncaster Rail by 2029,” he said.