RACV has advocated for the North East Link for many years – it is our top priority transport project, based upon our market research, as well as direct contact with many members.
The missing North East Link is the absence of a freeway standard connection between the Metropolitan Ring Road at Greensborough and the Eastern Freeway and EastLink.
Completing the North East Link will address the severe congestion across the north east of Melbourne, provide a direct freight link between the freight centres around Dandenong and agricultural regions in Gippsland, to the fruit and vegetable markets at Epping, and the Hume Freeway corridor. It will also address important safety issues along Rosanna Road, where conflict between large trucks and residential traffic, and a road unsuited to large truck movements, is a major community concern.
The recent RACV Redspot Survey of Melbourne’s most congested locations attracted more than 18,000 nominations – an all-time record. The results found six of the top 10 Redspots were in the North East corridor and Eastern Freeway.
Five of the top 10 were along the pseudo-links between the Eastern Freeway and the Metropolitan Ring Road – the route that the North East Link will address. These include Bulleen Road, Banksia Street Bridge, Rosanna Road and Greensborough Highway, and also Fitzsimons Lane and Main Road through Eltham and Greensborough.
The North East Link is not only the top priority transport project for the RACV. It is also the top transport project for the Victorian Transport Association representing the freight sector in Victoria, the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry representing a wide range of businesses across Victoria and AusVEG representing vegetable growers. The active community group Resolve Rosanna Road has also supported the North East Link.
Just this week Infrastructure Victoria listed the North East Link as the top priority transport project in its 30 year strategy and called for an early start for this project.
Today’s announcement is for consultation, route selection and a business case to be completed by 2018. Planning approval and tender processes will start in 2018. The State Government has promised that contract documents won’t be signed before the State Election.
The commitment today by the Victorian Government is fantastic news for the long suffering communities in the north east of Melbourne and the wider communities and business groups across Melbourne that will benefit from this Link.