19 September 2017
I HITCHED a ride from Epping to the city during morning peak hour as part of National Nightmare Commute Day.
It’s not something I want to do again. But, as they say, if you want to capture the story, then you have to live it, which is why I grabbed a lift with Steven and Cicely Boyne on their commute to the Alfred Hospital.
“It’s not bad today – the traffic is quite light,” Mr Boyne said as we took 45 minutes to reach Northcote.
I wouldn’t want to see it on a “bad” day, so I put up a message on Facebook.
A bloke automatically replied: “Try O’Herns Rd/ Miller St.”
“Oh, how is it?” I asked.
Mr Boyne told me the major arterials around Whittlesea needed widening. “They can begin with High St/Epping Rd. It’ll make for easier flow and less stress for drivers,” he said. He then told me it was worse on weekends.
It took us 90 minutes to get to South Yarra.
I’m lucky I don’t do this every day but the Boynes do. Like many, they shouldn’t have to cop a two hour commute to the city.
See editorial below.
TIME FOR END TO NIGHTMARE
For Melton’s Claire Radbourne, last Thursday’s National Nightmare Commute Day was four hours travelling to and from St Kilda.
For most, the nightmare happens every single day.
Melbourne’s roads are choked and our train carriages are overflowing.
Many car parks at train stations reach capacity by 7am.
Car parks at Hallam, Glen Waverley and Brighton Beach have no spaces by 7am. In Strathmore, a local oval’s car park is not filled by joggers or dog-walkers but by train users.
Research conducted by the National Growth Areas Alliance, which convenes National Nightmare Commute Day, shows there is a $50 billion backlog in roads and rail in fast-growing outer suburbs.
Neither the Federal Minister for Transport, Darren Chester, nor the State Minister for Roads, Luke Donnellan, posted on social media about their national commute day.
It’s high time governments at all levels got on board and made meaningful commitments.
Reference 19 Sep 2017, pages 7 and 4