The Eddington report issued in April 2008 focussed on east-west travel challenges within Melbourne, Australia. The following recommendations were made in the report:
Planning work should commence for the staged construction of a new 17 kilometre Melbourne Metro rail tunnel linking Melbourne’s booming western and south-eastern suburbs and providing a major increase in the capacity of the rail network.
The Victorian Government should bring forward the construction of a new rail connection from Werribee to Sunshine (the Tarneit link) to significantly improve the frequency and reliability of services from Werribee, Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo. The Government should commit to using the new rail tunnel and Tarneit link as the foundation for extending the metropolitan rail network further to the west within the next 15 years.
During the planning and construction of the rail tunnel, the Victorian Government should continue to make better use of the existing network to increase capacity, including commencing work on the electrification of the network to Sunbury to boost services on the Sydenham line.
Community amenity in the inner west should be restored by implementing a Truck Action Plan to remove truck traffic from local streets in the inner west. The plan should include a series of targeted road improvements that form an effective bypass around residential areas, reinforced by local truck bans.
Public transport to the Doncaster region is best provided by rapid, high quality bus services, additional bus priority measures and a major new bus-rail interchange at Victoria Park. To deliver this standard of services, the DART upgrade announced in the 2006 Meeting Our Transport Challenges plan should be introduced as soon as possible, along with additional service enhancements and bus priority measures undertaken in conjunction with Recommendation 4.
A dedicated fund should be established to facilitate the development of Park & Ride facilities, with priority given to improving access to rail services in Melbourne’s west and facilitating public transport patronage in the Doncaster corridor.
The Victorian Government should re-evaluate its 30/2010 rail target (which aims to move 30 per cent of freight from and to all Victorian ports by rail by 2010), given the clear finding by the EWLNA that it cannot be met. The Government should create a new strategy and work with industry to develop and implement a detailed action plan for moving more freight by rail.
The Government should take action to increase rail’s share of freight by:
- Ensuring the development of a single, common user, interstate, intermodal freight terminal north of the city on the Melbourne to Sydney rail corridor
- Developing the standard gauge rail freight network to connect the interstate intermodal terminal with the key metropolitan freight hubs
- Making and announcing concrete planning decisions about the future sites for metropolitan freight hubs
- Ensuring that all future transport plans build in the connection of the Port of Hastings to the interstate standard gauge rail network.
The Port of Melbourne Corporation should be given overall responsibility for implementing an intermodal hub network in Melbourne, including responsibility for achieving the Government’s revised rail freight target.
Given the projected increase in the metropolitan freight task, the Government should take further action to improve the efficient movement of road freight by permitting the introduction of high productivity freight vehicles on designated routes.
The Government should continue to implement Melbourne 2030 and take stronger action to accelerate the development of vibrant suburban hubs in Melbourne’s west, particularly Footscray, Sydenham, Sunshine and Werribee.
Through the Council of Australian Governments – and working with the Australian automotive industry – the Victorian Government should pursue measures to bring Australia into line with European CO2 emissions standards for motor vehicles.
The Victorian Government should seek early discussions with the Commonwealth Government regarding a funding contribution from AusLink towards some or all of the EWLNA recommended projects. The Government should also work with the Commonwealth to extend AusLink to transport projects designed to relieve urban congestion.
The Victorian Government should consider a funding structure for the proposed new Metro rail tunnel that includes contributions by beneficiaries (including public transport users and property owners across Melbourne).
The Government should re-evaluate its current road tolling policy to ensure that the long term benefits of new road investments can be fully realised (including public transport priority, improved cycling opportunities, road network balance and improved local amenity).