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‘Retrograde solution’: West Gate Tunnel Project a ‘permanent blight,’ says PIA

Patrick Hunn

The Planning Institute of Victoria has taken issue with the Victorian government’s plans to connect central Melbourne to the city’s west via a major road and cross-river tunnel.

The Victorian chapter of the Planning Institute Australia has criticised the Victorian government’s West Gate Tunnel Project for failing to follow its own planning guidelines.

The project would connect central Melbourne to the city’s west via a new tunnel and an 18-lane, partially elevated toll road.

In a submission made in response to the West Gate Tunnel Environmental Effects Statement (EES) and the Planning Scheme Amendment (PSA) associated with the development, Victoria chapter president Laura Murray described the project as lacking “strategic justification” and argued that “alternate approaches to addressing the identified land use and transport issues have not been considered or rigorously tested”.

“The proposal as it stands is a retrograde, traffic-engineering-focused solution which is entirely at odds with any appreciation for good place-making and contemporary urban planning,” Ms Murray said. “The proposed 18 lanes of traffic on and above Footscray Road are completely out of proportion with an inner-city location, which will be subject to regeneration and will permanently blight the area.”

The submission also expressed concerns of “inappropriate methodology and inadequate extent of traffic modelling” which did not go beyond 2031; the “significant detriment” to traffic and future development opportunities likely to be caused by the city exits; and “entrenched inequality for those in the outer suburbs without access to a private motor vehicle.”

This article first appeared in ArchitectureAU. To read the full article click here.

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