Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Why roads are not suitable for mass transportation

The now departed Napthine government was hell-bent on spending up to $16b on the "East West link" tollway tunnel project, claiming that it would "be the transport infrastructure that Melbourne needs".  They included fanciful claims including that the new tunnel would:
  • Reduce commute times by 20 minutes
  • Reduce congestion on Hoddle Street
Both claims are patently false.  The Napthine government lost he election held on 29 November and the incoming Premier, Daniel Andrews, has pledged to stop the East West Link road project  proceeding.

Similar claims were made by Jeff Kennet back in the 90s when he claimed the City Link road project, constructed between 1996 and 2000 would "will solve Melbourne's traffic problems". Clearly, it has not.

However, there is another good reason why roads cannot provide a suitable mass transport system for a city such as Melbourne - every driver is a single point of failure.

Nearly every day there is a crash which can close or seriously disrupt traffic on a route.

Six cars and a truck were involved in two crashes on the West Gate Bridge. Photo: Seven News

For example,a crash closed the West Gate Bridge on Tuesday 2 December. Such crashes and closures are now a daily occurrence.

By comparison, trains carry up to 800 passengers with a single driver - and don't have to contend with road intersections and "lane changes".

We need some real political leadership to build more train lines and revise the train network for Melbourne - given that no new suburban rail lines have been built since the Glen Waverley line in 1932.

A dedicated safe bicycle path network should be included too.