My constituency question is for the Minister for Transport Infrastructure. I have had a constituent contact me regarding the North East Link and the development’s potential impact on bus services in the area. As you would be aware, many residents in this area do not have access to a train or tram service so rely on buses to get from A to B. While they have received material regarding the project, they have had little information about how the bus services will change—for example, if stops will be moved or routes relocated. The information I seek is: do we have any information regarding the possible impacts from the North East Link on bus services?
RESPONSE RECEIVED 27 APRIL 2022 FROM HON. JACINTA ALLAN
I thank the Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region for his question.
North East Link will deliver Melbourne’s first ever dedicated and separated busway for buses along the Eastern Freeway all the way from Doncaster Park and Ride towards the city.
The Doncaster Park and Ride will be upgraded to accommodate more buses and improve pedestrian and cycling access with no loss of car spaces.
Our priority is to ensure that the delivery of North East Link – Victoria’s biggest road infrastructure project – is supported by effective and thorough planning to ensure disruptions are reduced or managed at every step, to limit impact for road users, the local community, and commuters including train and Park and Ride users.
The Andrews Labor Government has been continuously investing funding into the bus network in Manningham and surrounding areas. In 2018, an additional 17peak bus services were added to the Doncaster Area Rapid Transit (DART) bus network. Articulated buses were also introduced to provide additional capacity. Dedicated city-bound bus lanes were improved along Blackburn Road, Doncaster Road as well as the Eastern Freeway’s entrances.
From 2021, 21 of our most popular bus routes run to a 24-hour weekend service on Fridays and Saturdays and 13 special bus routes run after midnight on weekends, which includes the DART routes 905, 907 and 908.
Bus services from Doncaster to the City will need to change as a result of the North East Link works associated with the Doncaster Busway, as well as associated Big Build projects. This will present an opportunity to review bus patronage growth to improve the whole of journey passenger experience through service and infrastructure improvements.