Public Transport

The Victorian Labor government is proposing to widen Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway to more than 20 lanes, arguing this would ease congestion on a thoroughfare that resembles a car park during peak time.

A minor mechanical fault on a train at Town Hall station caused an entire day of delays across Sydney’s rail network on August 23. Rather than being an exception, the incident was just the latest chaos to hit Sydney commuters.

Residents gathered at several sites near entrances to the environmentally and socially disastrous WestConnex tollway tunnel on July 13 to protest the opening of the NSW Coalition government's signature $27 billion transport nightmare.

More than 100 people joined an emergency protest in Sydney’s Inner West on March 18 to demand an immediate halt to the $17 billion WestConnex tollway project while its social and environmental impacts are fully investigated.

Residents gathered in leafy Buruwan Park in Annandale on March 4 to protest the park’s destruction by NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) as part of the controversial $17 billion WestConnex tollway network.

Satellite imaging analysis released for the first time on March 13 shows much greater ground settlement and potential property damage from WestConnex tunnelling than predicted by the NSW Coalition government and the environmental impacts statements for the project.

Many battles have been fought over the Upfield Line. Here, Socialist councillor Sue Bolton talks about the fight to duplicate the line.

An ever growing number of Sydneysiders are now aware that WestConnex will not solve Sydney’s traffic problems — instead it will only worsen the chaos.

Many also see that its $16.8 billion budget has been seriously underestimated: it is more like the $45 billion that SGS Economics, the private contractor engaged by the City of Sydney indicated. This figure includes the additional work needed to connect the tollway with local road networks, costs that were deliberately excluded to downplay the project spend.

It is increasingly clear that we need more public transport to reduce air-polluting travel and provide much-needed sustainable jobs.

But state governments are captive to the road industry. The result is poor planning, expanding and expensive road tolls and more carbon pollution.

The following is the Socialist Alliance’s Sustainable Transport policy — an example of what an alternative transport plan could look like.

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“We’re mad as hell and we’re not taking it anymore!” Mary Court, secretary of the Penrith Valley Combined Unions (PVCU) and No M4 Toll, told the Don’t Mess With the West rally on February 16.

“Western Sydney will rise up; we’re not a dumping ground for Sydney’s problems”, Court said. “The ‘toll tax’ on the M4 Motorway is an assault … We are being forced to pay this M4 toll until 2060, increasing at a rate much higher than inflation, to pay for the Coalition state government’s cost blow-outs elsewhere.

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