transport projects ahead of state election

Northern Star Weekly
8 November 2018
Laura Michell

EPPING NORTH RESIDENT DAVID SHARLEY (SUPPLIED).

A bus service from Lalor station to Craigieburn town centre, the extension of the route 86 tram to South Morang and a rail extension to Wollert are urgently needed to improve liveability in Epping North and Wollert, according to Whittlesea council.

The council has released its election wishlist, urging all local candidates to commit to three key public transport projects it believes will make a difference to people living in Epping North and Wollert.

Cr Kris Pavlidis said the three projects would help connect more than 100,000 residents to jobs, education and services and ease congestion.

The council wants a 10-minute premium bus service from Lalor to Craigieburn, via Epping North and Wollert, followed by the extension of the train line from Lalor to Wollert within 10 years.

It also wants the route 86 tram to be extended from Bundoora to South Morang, despite the state government questioning whether the extension would have enough patronage.

“Our community urgently needs better public transport choices to take cars off congested roads and reduce commute times,” Cr Pavlidis said.

“The lack of public transport choices in our growth areas creates more road congestion. This will get even worse as the population in the developing areas of Epping North and Wollert grows by a predicted 62,000 new residents.”

Cr Pavlidis said many Epping North residents bought their homes with the promise that a train line would be built in the near future. They were still waiting.

David Sharley was among those Epping North residents to buy a house in the area believing train services would be coming to the suburb soon.

“After six years and minimal access to public transport, the stress of my two and a half hours commute became too much and I had to resign from the job I loved,” Dr Sharley said.

“We love our home and our neighbourhood, but inadequate public transport in the area means we are isolated from social and employment opportunities that people in other areas enjoy.”

Reference

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