The Age: Punt Road widening a vexed question for councils on either side of the road

City of Melbourne Traffic Engineer fails top consult residents or consider the alternative option of a Road Tunnel with above traffic servicing buses and local traffic . The costs of a “cross city” Road Tunnel between the Yarra Rver and Nepean Highway (4.3km) would be less than the amount of money wasted by the Andrews Government in scrapping the East West Link Tunnel and marginally more than the cost of the proposed road widening.

The State Government is conducting hearings on Punt Road Road Widening

Residents are asking why a Road Tunnel is not under Consideration. Some residents are concerned that the Government would over-inflate the cost of a tunnel thus ruling it out. Estimations of a tunnel with a exit ramp to Dandenong Road varies between 1 to 1.5 Billion Dollars


Extract of Article by

Clay Lucas
City Editor, The Age

Stonnington council says an option to widen Punt Road should be scrapped.

Stonnington Council says an option held since 1954, to widen Punt Road from four to six lanes, should be dumped.

Stonnington Council says an option held since 1954, to widen Punt Road from four to six lanes, should be dumped. Photo: Darrian Traynor

An option held by VicRoads since 1954 to bulldoze hundreds of properties on Punt Road to widen it for traffic should be dumped by the Andrews government, inner-city council Stonnington has argued.

But a transport advisor to Melbourne City Council has backed the need to keep the widening option in place, saying that ultimately Punt Road may need to be widened from four to six lanes so that dedicated bus lanes can be created.

And new, lower speed limits should be contemplated when permanent Punt Road clearways are introduced, the transport expert has recommended.

Public hearings began this week into whether to preserve the 2.5-kilometre public acquisition overlay along the eastern side of Punt Road.

Punt Road residents in South Yarra and Prahran want it scrapped, arguing the option to take their homes creates uncertainty and urban blight along the infamously congested arterial route – used by up to 40,000 vehicles a day.

But VicRoads wants the overlay kept, saying it will eventually be needed.

Labor went to the 2014 state election promising to review the overlay, saying it gave “locals no control over the fate of their own homes”.

Stonnington Council this week voted to ask for the Punt Road overlay to be dropped, and is appearing before the planning hearings to put its case.

The council has also highlighted the consequences for parking and traffic on side streets in South Yarra, Prahran and Windsor if Punt Road were widened.

Stonnington mayor Claude Ullin said widening Punt Road would not solve the congestion problems.

“It would just attract more traffic, as we’ve seen with all of the freeways we have. They were all built to ease traffic but now they are part of the problem.”

Cr Ullin said he had previously owned two properties on Punt Road and, in the two decades since he had sold them, traffic had not increased.

“Widening Punt Road just seems so unnecessary,” he said.

“It would create so much difficulty in terms of compensation, and all the heritage houses along there that would be destroyed.”

However an experienced transport planner hired by Melbourne City Council to give his view on the project has found that there could be a long-term need to widen Punt Road.

A six-lane road would “best cater for the long-term movement needs in the corridor”, wrote Knowles Tivendale, a principal at transport consultants Phillip Boyle and Associates.

Read more:
Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook