Melbourne’s West Gate Tunnel will create a 14-hour rush hour, says City Council
Melbourne’s $5.5 billion West Gate Tunnel toll road has received damning verdicts from Melbourne City Council, delivering a significant blow to development company Transurban as it seeks to receive positive feedback from public consultations.
The most alarming conclusion drawn was that the new road system could result in a bottleneck of traffic flowing into the northern parts of the city which will cause rush hour to last between 12 and 14 hours.
Melbourne City Council also says it will impact tram network performance, devalue surrounding land and remove public access to the riverbanks.
However, an Environment Effects Statement (EES) argues to the contrary, stating the project will will slash travel times, take trucks off residential streets and create 6,000 new jobs.
The 10,000 page EES comprehensively assesses the environmental effects and benefits of the project which includes:
- Taking more than 9,000 trucks per day off residential streets in the inner west, as up to 67,000 vehicles use the new tunnels every day as an alternative to the West Gate Bridge
- Cutting travel times by up to 20 minutes between Melbourne and the western suburbs, Geelong and Ballarat
- Planting more than 17,000 trees including 4000 mature trees, replacing trees that need to be removed at a ratio of more than 3:1
- Protecting the health of the community with the report finding that there will be no measurable change in the health of the community associated with the project.
The public consultation is set for July 10, with the full EES available to view in 14 different locations.
Melbourne is also undergoing a sizable metro upgrade as the city aims to boost its transport infrastructure.