Mernda rail extension will go ahead after Liberal Government commits $700 million to plan
Victorian Premier Denis Napthine has announced the Liberal Government will spend $700 million on a rail extension to Mernda. PREMIER Denis Napthine has announced the Liberal Government will provide $700 million for a rail extension to Mernda if it wins the state election.
The announcement guarantees the extension will go ahead, with the Access Denied campaign having secured commitments from the Liberal, Labor
The campaign, launched in March, called on the parties to extend rail from South Morang to Mernda and build an interchange at the O’Herns Rd overpass of the Hume Freeway in the first term of government, whoever is to win the November election.IS THIS PLAN ENOUGH FOR THE AREA OR DOES MORE NEED TO BE DONE TO IMPROVE TRANSPORT? TELL US BELOW.
Dr Napthine said the project would include:$700 MILLION
for a double-track extension from South Morang to Mernda;$95 MILLION
to duplicate Yan Yean Rd;$20 MILLION
to provide weekday trains every 10 minutes on the South Morang line from 2015; and,$1.3 MILLION
for extra car parking at Wallan railway station.
“This is a comprehensive transport package that will deliver benefits for rail commuters on the South Morang line within 12 months and make substantial investments in new and better rail and road links to move more people, more often,” Dr Napthine said.
“The 7.5km double-track rail extension to Mernda will include two new stations and provisions for a third, plus new stabling and maintenance facilities that will create jobs in the region.
“We will also invest $95 million to duplicate 3.9km of Yan Yean Rd because we recognise that the only way to properly address transport needs is to have an integrated approach focusing on road investments that complement public transport projects.”
But Yan Yean state Labor MP Danielle Green has criticised the announcement, claiming the Liberal Party “has never cared for the north and have only just discovered it now when their political survival relies on it”.
“The community just has to look back to the last election where the Liberals promised not one, but three train lines and delivered none,” Ms Green said.
“In the (past) four years there has been zero road funding in this area.
“They have ripped $60 million of (school) bus services out of this electorate and now thousands of teenagers have to travel tens of thousands of kilometres each year just to get to secondary school at a great cost to their parents.”
While Dr Napthine’s announcement, totalling $816.3 million, will send Mernda rail extension campaigners into raptures, none of the state’s major political parties have committed to the vital O’Herns Rd/Hume Freeway project.
A booming population in the City of Whittlesea’s growth corridor, including Doreen and Mernda, has caused traffic bedlam for residents who moved to the suburbs to enjoy a village lifestyle.
But commuting to and from work and school has become a nightmare, with motorists constantly forced to stomach infuriating congestion.KEY FACTS:WORKS
on the Mernda extension will start next year and be completed by 2021;NEW
train stabling facilities at Mernda will accommodate four six-carriage trains;MERNDA
station will have free car parking for 200 vehicles and a four-bay bus interchange;THE
Mernda extension will include four grade separations with no new level crossings;SOUTH MORANG
station will be upgraded, including an extra 200 free car parks; and,FARES
from Mernda will be priced at Zone 1 rates.
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