I WISH to congratulate Craig Langdon, the member for Ivanhoe, for "seeing the light at the end of the tunnel" ("Labor MP has different tunnel vision", The Age, 19/5) and supporting the policy I first proposed at the last state election for a tunnel to join EastLink to the Western Ring Road.
Only 18 months ago, during the last state election campaign, I was the only candidate to suggest a tunnel to long-suffering Rosanna, Heidelberg and East Ivanhoe residents. It was so much of an issue that Mr Langdon wrote to residents in this area, criticising me. He said: "Will all candidates join with me and guarantee no freeway will be built along the Yarra River, through Banyule Flats, Viewbank or Heidelberg? … If elected, I guarantee no freeway will be constructed through your suburb."
What a difference 18 months, and another four years in government, makes. I am pleased that Mr Langdon has removed the blinkers and come out in support of the tunnel I proposed.
I look forward to him, supported by the members for Eltham and Bundoora, pushing this proposal (along with the integrated public transport strategy I also proposed) with their colleagues in government.
Jenny Mulholland, Griffin Ward councillor, Banyule City Council, Ivanhoe
Seeking a way out
PETER Stokes (Age Letters, 20/5) appears to think that he will be served by an extension of the Eastern Freeway linking it with the Tullamarine Freeway. There are, however, several problems arising with proposals outlined in the Eddington report.
If Peter, for example, enters the proposed tolled tunnel at Hoddle Street, he will not be able to turn off south to the city, where most commuters are headed, but will find himself at the port. He could take a right turn at the underground junction next to the State Netball and Hockey Centre in Royal Park and come out in the middle of CityLink. He will, however, have to travel north. Should he return from Tullamarine, he will not be able to re-enter the tunnel to get back onto the Eastern Freeway.
In the process of tunnel construction over five to 12 years, Royal Park and Holland Park in Kensington will be transformed into giant quarries, and sports fields, community facilities and wetlands ripped up. The whole tunnel exercise, which will serve relatively few commuters and freight movers, may prove one of the most expensive infrastructure projects undertaken in Victorian history. We should tell the State Government — wrong way, go back. A major rethink on public transport is needed.
Elizabeth Jackson, Fitzroy
Build it and the trucks will come
I'M A bit confused. I use the Lorimer Street on-ramp to the West Gate Freeway daily at peak times. In fact, I have done so every working day for six years. Never have I had a problem getting onto the freeway eastbound. This is despite VicRoads telling us it is one of its worst bottlenecks.
So I'm wondering why VicRoads is building a ramp to funnel more traffic that-away. Cynically, I first thought it was a commercial decision, to fulfil some promise to CityLink.
Now I'm thinking that this is some out-of-character forward thinking to accommodate the huge increase in trucks coming down Lorimer Street in the future, due to channel deepening and the increase in port traffic. Now, I'm not so confused, perhaps just a bit angry.
Millions spent on a two-lane ramp to funnel more traffic into the Yarra Tunnel, and not one cent spent upgrading the tunnel to bring in safety measures. No stopping alcoves, no warning lights, no car-only lanes, no speed reduction, though they have painted the walls a pretty colour. That should help.
If this Government is not in bed with CityLink, it seems as if it is with the shipping companies, mostly to the detriment of the citizens of the fair city of Melbourne, formerly the most liveable city.
Peter Mclisky, Docklands