The Victorian Labor government’s 2018-19 Budget will include $60 million for new car parking spaces at several Melbourne train stations, with the Opposition also making their own much smaller pledge of $4 million for spaces in different suburbs.
The Andrews government is planning to provide 2,000 spaces, along with bicycle storage facilities and upgraded pedestrian access at Belgrave, Sandown Park, Epping and Craigieburn stations, among others.
Belgrave Station alone is to have its spaces more than doubled, with plans to build a multi-deck car park in the station precinct proposed.
“Locals have been calling for more car parking at Belgrave Station and that is why we undertook a feasibility study in 2017,” deputy premier and member for Monbulk James Merlino said.
“These 470 extra spaces mean fewer cars clogging up neighbouring streets and more car spaces free for people to shop in town.”
State transport minister Jacinta Allan said the announcement of the extra parking spots was proof of the government’s commitment to making Melbourne’s busiest stations more accessible.
“We’ve already delivered more than 3,000 new and upgraded car spaces at some of our busiest train stations – with 2,000 more, we can make it even easier for more people to catch the train and help ease traffic on our busy roads,” Allan said.
The Opposition’s plans are much less ambitious, offering only $4 million to build 150 new car parking spaces at Greensborough, Montmorency and Eltham stations along the Hurstbridge line.
Opposition leader Matthew Guy was reported by The Age as saying that the Coalition considered removing parked cars off suburban streets as an “important” goal.
“I think local residents are just sick to death of seeing cars in the streets, of seeing commuters clogging up local streets, so we’ve got to do something about it,” Guy said.