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The State Government has unveiled its much anticipated transport
plan, pledging to pour $10.5 billion into Victoria's roads, trains,
buses and trams over the next decade.
Premier Steve Bracks claimed it would be the biggest single
investment in transport ever by a Victorian Government, with $2.8
billion being spent over the next four years.
There were few surprises as the plan was detailed in Frankston
in Melbourne's south this morning, with large chunks having already
been leaked to the media.
It includes a $2.9 billion investment in rail and a $1.4 billion
As expected, Melbourne's most choked freeways and train lines
have been singled out for special attention.
A contribution of $166 million from CityLink operator Transurban
means a total of $1 billion will go into boosting capacity on the
Monash and West Gate freeways.
The four-year project will include building an additional lane
on the Monash Freeway between Glenferrie and Heatherton Roads, and
widening the West Gate Freeway between the CityLink tunnels and the
The Government will spend $2.9 billion over the next decade
improving train services, building extra sections of track on the
Dandenong, Hurstbridge and Sydenham-Melton lines.
Peak-hour passengers on the Broadmeadows, Sydenham, Werribee and
Dandenong lines can expect relief, with more services to run from
later this year.
Three new train stations will be built at Point Cook, Cardinia
Road (Pakenham) and at Lynbrook. Meanwhile, seven existing train
stations will be upgraded, and staffed from the first to last
Trains and trams will run later on Friday and Saturday
The Government plans to hire an extra 120 train drivers by 2008
to accommodate the extra metropolitan services.
Trams will be given greater priority at traffic lights in an
effort to speed up trips. Also, $500 million will be spent on 100
Boost for 'growth corridors'
A 10-year, $1.4 billion plan to improve bus services has also
been detailed, and will target people living in the middle and
outer suburbs - particularly those moving to the growth corridors
in the east and west.
The Government has pledged to increase local bus services by 22
per cent over four years by adding more trips on existing routes,
extending routes to take in new suburbs and extending operating
Regional Victorians will benefit from $510 million to improve
public transport in provincial areas, and roads in growth corridors
will be upgraded.
The Premier said the $10.5 billion would help Victoria cope with
an expected population growth of 1.25 million over the next 25
"As well as major works in the short to medium term, we are also
planning ahead to ensure future generations of Victorians enjoy a
world-class transport network," Mr Bracks said.
He claimed spending over the next four years would encourage an
extra 50 million public transport trips annually.
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