The Committee of Melbourne has called for the development of an integrated transport plan for Melbourne to coordinate the provision of transport infrastructure in the city.
While a number of government plans have been developed to guide infrastructure investment, the Committee for Melbourne has found that none are truly comprehensive, detailed, or strategic enough to outline how Melbourne will grow in the long-term.
Martine Letts, CEO Committee for Melbourne said that now was the right time to plan for the future of Melbourne.
“Mobility in Melbourne has reached a tipping point. With the growth pressures the city is facing that continue to build, more than ever a plan is required to accommodate the efficient movement of people and freight. A business-as-usual approach will see road congestion cost Melbourne’s economy up to $10.2 billion per annum by 2031 in operation and pollution costs.”
The report calls for a plan that integrates mobility patterns, land-use, and economic patterns, to enable seamless mobility throughout Greater Melbourne. This would mean that projects such as Suburban Rail Loop and the Melbourne Airport Rail Link would be included as certain aspects of the city’s future, along with further projects such as Melbourne Metro 2.
In addition to the infrastructure itself, the integrated plan would also combine elements such as demand management, technology, land-use planning, and economic development. These elements would guide measures such as public transport frequency, integrated mobility services, transport-oriented development, and using infrastructure investment as a level for investment.
The report recommends that with Melbourne’s population expected to continue to grow, and freight volumes also expected to increase, there is a need for integrated transport planning.
“It is not in anyone’s interest that Melbourne’s transport network returns to the state that it was in prior to the COVID-19 crisis. Peak hour commutes on public transport had become increasingly uncomfortable, while traffic congestion on the road network was worse than any other Australian capital city,” said Letts.
Melbourne was recently highlighted as a major Australian city with worsening congestion and reliability in travel in research by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and Uber.
“As our economy recovers and we once again welcome increasing numbers of new residents and visitors, and as we produce and consume more goods and services, we must ask ourselves what it will take to remain a highly liveable, prosperous, and sustainable, twenty-first century city. Designing, publishing, and implementing a strategic plan which considers transport, land-use, and economic development planning is a good place to start,” said Letts.