"TRAFFIC could grind to a halt on the freeway to Melbourne Airport in the next two decades unless dramatic action is taken," according to a study commissioned by the Victorian government and reported by The Age yesterday.
However, Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula has said the government will not consider a rail line to the airport, originally promised by the Labor government in 1999.
According to The Age, the report, the Melbourne Airport Transport Requirements Study, was completed over the past nine months by consultants IMIS and predicts that traffic to the airport will "slow to a crawl by 2021 unless major changes are made."
The study investigated the potential of an airport rail link with a $16 one-way fare. The Age stated that the study found that:
- Drivers to the airport would not be convinced to use the rail line;
- The rail line would take passengers off existing bus services and taxis;
- A train line to the airport would not be required until at least 2021 if existing transit lanes on CityLink and the Tullamarine freeway were enforced.
An airport train line has been proposed many times and there is land set aside for an airport rail line, reportedly using parts of the Sydenham line and an existing freight link through Albion.
Source: Clay Lucas, 'Airport road won't cope with demand, study shows', The Age, 1 March 2010, < http://www.theage.com.au/travel/travel-news/airport-road-wont-cope-with-demand-study-shows-20100228-pb7g.html>.