Toxic Custard newsletter, transport

#EWLink’s real cost to Victorians: Could easily be $10b for stage 1

This article by The Age's Josh Gordon last week raises a really good point about the East West Link Stage 1 that needs to be remembered: The up-front cost of $2 billion contributed by the State is not the total actual cost to Victorians. It's also not the construction cost -- long thought to be upwards of $6 billion, but now finalised at $6.8 billion. The consortium building it provides $

transport

Govt flyer sent to #Bentleigh voters missing any mention of their biggest project: #EWLink

Letters that arrive in anonymous envelopes and then turn out to be party political propaganda are not my favourite thing. This one from the State Liberals showed up the other day. The Liberals' signature project, perhaps the most expensive infrastructure project ever undertaken in the state, is the East West road tunnel -- around $18 billion in construction costs, but likely to cost much mor

transport

#EWLink: What is it? What is it For? Why it wonโ€™t die easily? – Sophie Sturup on mega projects

I and others have been known to call the East-West Link tunnel a zombie project -- you can fight it off (as was done in the 70s) but it will never truly die. Last year at the launch for the Trains Not Tollroads campaign, Dr Sophie Sturup gave a great speech on mega projects. She made some really good points about how these multi-billion dollar mega projects get up, and about EWLink specifically

transport

Sovereign risk not an excuse for pursuing bad policy: Labor should pledge to scrap EWLink contracts

I swear I wrote most of this blog post before reading last Friday's Age article regarding contract law experts including Dr Nick Seddon. It confirmed my suspicions: Should Labor win the November state election, there is no legal impediment stopping it from tearing up the contract for the East West Link if it is sincere in its opposition to the road project, experts in contract law and public polic

transport

Investment in motorways vs rail capacity – where are we at?

There's been some speculation about who is running the SpringStSource Twitter account and web site. The web domain name is registered through WhoIsGuard, a Panama-based service specifically for hiding details of people who want to remain anonymous. It's not hard to see whoever is behind it is well and truly on the side of the Coalition state government. As Crikey noted: Spring St abuzz with

transport

#EastWestLink “congestion-busting”? They promised that for Citylink, and it wasn’t.

Veteran road industry figure Max Lay made something of a startling admission last week in an opinion piece in The Age on the proposed East West Link: that the intent of major road projects isn't to fix congestion: Opponents play the congestion card, arguing that previous projects have not eliminated congestion, forgetting that this was never their intent. The link will significantly improve the

transport

A flick through the East West business case (short form, nothing to see here – just trust us)

Tony Abbott is determined to throw billions at the East West road tunnel if he's elected, despite not having seen the business case. The public hasn't seen the business case. Neither has Tony, as it turns out. But he has faith. He believes it exists. I mean, there are lots of things that I haven't seen but I know, and I know that there is a business case for the East West Link. -- Tony Abb

driving, Politics and activism

If east-west traffic is so critical, why does the M1 only provide 2 through lanes each way?

The government argues that cross-city traffic is so critical that the they want to (without a mandate) spend $8 billion building just the first phase of the East-West tunnel. If that's the case, then why does the newly remodelled (2008-2010) M1 corridor only provide two lanes in each direction for those cross-city trips? Eastbound (coming off the Westgate bridge, towards the Burnley tunnel):

transport

Regional Rail Link: Melbourne’s first brand new suburban train line since 1930

It's often said that there hasn't been a suburban rail line built in Melbourne since the Glen Waverley line opened in 1930. To be precise, that year it was extended from Darling to Glen Waverley. Others built or extended since then have either been electrification along existing lines, or re-openings of lines along old alignments: Werribee, Sunbury, Craigieburn, Cranbourne. The City Loop was

transport

Compared: Metro rail tunnel vs East West Road – which is more efficient at moving people? #SpringSt

The way the state budget has been framed in terms of transport was almost inevitable: the East-West motorway (stage 1) vs the Metro Rail Tunnel, with the motorway winning this round. While they are quite different projects, serving (mostly) different markets and (attempting to be) solving different problems, I thought it might be interesting to look at them side-by-side them, based on known