The second rail tunnel should be at the top of the list when considering a “congestion busting” plan for Melbourne, he says.
Stuart says it is time the government developed a holistic, integrated transport plan for Victoria, and that a second tunnel linking Clifton Hill and Newport via Fishermans Bend should be a “top priority”.
The Infrastructure Australia audit found that although a huge number of road and rail projects were under way in Melbourne and Sydney, these would not prevent the cities grinding to a halt in the future due to congestion and poor public transport access.
Stuart says Metro Two presented an opportunity to help avert traffic gridlock in Melbourne and it made sense to start planning for this project while the first tunnel was being built.
“There’s good logic in using the smarts, capability and talent that has been poured into Metro One, such as engineers, geo-tech specialists, economists and more, to start working on what Metro Two will look like,” he says.
“Let’s not wait to do the due diligence. We should be sophisticated enough in Victoria to be thinking about more than one project at a time, just like in London where they are on the front foot planning for and designing Crossrail Two while Crossrail One, the Elizabeth Line, is still under construction.”
The second rail tunnel would provide the Fishermans Bend precinct with the mass transit it needs, he says. Fishermans Bend is expected to develop into one of the state’s most important employment and education precincts, with 80,000 jobs and a similar number of residents, universities, advanced manufacturing, emerging industries and more.