Neat, Plausible and Wrong: Melbourne's East West Link

The state of Victoria, Australia, has long been a site of tension between an incumbent and powerful road lobby and a community increasingly desirous of non-car transport alternatives. Today there is no greater signifier of this than the East West Link, a proposed 18km motorway in Melbourne estimated to cost $16 billion. The project is unprecedented both in the haste with which it is being pushed through the planning and pre-construction stages, and the apparent determination of the State Government not to seek any kind of public mandate for the project at a State election. Yet the project has no conventional benefit-cost justification, does not serve a clearly defined demand in the context of Melbourne's travel patterns and trends, and is likely to displace better-justified and more popular public transport projects for many years. Last year, it was the subject of Paul Mees' final public addresses before his untimely death.This article examines the historical background to the East West Link, the arguments put forward for it, and the alternatives that have featured in the ensuing public debate.


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  • Accession Number: 01531858
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 24 2014 4:15PM