The current direction in transport policy is a dangerous one that needs addressing. The social, environmental and economic cost of unrestricted freeway expansion will be felt by generations to come. Instead of the "roads first" approach, the state government must aggressively pursue public transport as a means of transporting Victorians.

The Democrats are committed to:


A goal of 20% of journeys by 2020 to be taken by public transport is a realistic one, but only if the state government puts in place the necessary infrastructure and funding to make public transport a viable alternative to the private vehicle for all Victorians.

Less on Freeways, More on Rail

The government has spent huge amounts of money on road projects while the rail network has been neglected, forcing freight and commuters on to the roads.

VicRoads expended $1.3 billion in 2004-05 on managing, improving and expanding the Victorian road network compared to $1.2 billion the previous year. This expenditure comprised of $1 billion on managing and $298.8 million on improving and expanding the road network. The Democrats are dedicated to redirecting some of that money into rail and other public transport projects.

All Freeway proposals must be subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). The findings of the EIA must be made public, and must be an important consideration in whether or not the proposal proceeds.

Public funding for freeways should compete directly with funding for public transport. The criteria for determining which projects receive funding should include: long term viability, effect on environment, cost to taxpayer and social impact on affected communities.

Roads—Safer and Less Crowded
Maintenance to continue

Priority will be given to projects improving road and pedestrian safety and essential work in regional areas.

Enhance major rail junctions to improve safety and reduce delays. This may involve rail overpasses at busy junctions such as North Melbourne, Caulfield and Springvale Road.

Upgrade rail crossings throughout Victoria.

Expanding and Improving the Rail System

The Democrats would:

Metropolitan Stations

Stations to be re-staffed, ensuring safety of commuters and protection of station property.

Excess platform space to be leased to retail services or restaurants to develop commercial hubs at Metropolitan rail stations.

New Metropolitan Stations

A review to assess the need for new stations in key commercial, educational or residential areas. For example, the creation of new stations at Victoria University, West Newport and Southland Shopping Centre, Cheltenham would provide direct access to these venues.

Residents of new housing developments should be provided with a fully operational rail service, together with conveniently located rail stations.

Express Trains

More regular express trains are possible on the Eastern and South-eastern routes with minor enhancements to tracks and signalling. Ideally, all services (including weekend and holiday services) would run on minimum 20 minute service with extra trains during peak periods.

Trams and Busses

Parking limited to 15 minutes or less on narrow roads serviced by trams, where it is allowed at all.

Conversion of busses to 100% gas/ ethanol over the next 5 years.

Trams and busses to be given greater priority over private vehicles, particularly in regard to right- hand turns.

Bus and tram stops with platforms to be built on downstream side of intersections to allow vehicles to pass through the intersection before stopping.

Greater implementation of rollover curbs which divide tram easements from roadways to discourage motorists from obstructing trams.

Conversion of some sections of narrow tram roads to pedestrian malls where alternative vehicle routes exist. This has proven successful in the case of the Bourke Street mall in Melbourne City. Selection for conversions needs to be based upon consultation with the relevant council and the local community.

Tramlines that stop just short of major destinations such as rail stations or shopping centres should be gradually extended. For example the number 3 tram could be extended an extra 1.5km to East Malvern Station and onwards to Chadstone Shopping Centre. An extension of 1km would link the Number 5 tram route to Darling Station. An extension of the number 67 tram would link the route to Carnegie shops and railway station. The extension of the Number 75 tram to Knox City Shopping Centre should be prioritised.

Bus routes to be reviewed. Services that follow torturous routes through back streets will be rationalised. The focus would be on increasing service on bus routes running along major roads.

Extension of the smart bus scheme throughout Eastern and South-eastern suburban Melbourne.

Extension of Community Bus Services that provide easy access for wheel chair users.

Creation of 24 hour public transport services along main tram, train and bus routes. This would reduce unsafe practices such as drink driving and driving while fatigued as well as partially address the shortage of taxis from 12am-5am.

Use of "clock face" timetables wherever possible.

Purchase of a fleet of small vehicles to replace large vehicles on Sky bus service. These smaller vehicles would run at 10 minute intervals and therefore increase patronage due to the greater frequency of service.


Taxis act as a complement to a comprehensive public transport network.

Rigorous standards must be maintained in the issuing of taxi licences and the regulation of license holders.