OUTGOING Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur has roundly criticised the government for removing a kilometre of bus lane on Adelaide Avenue.
Transport Minister Chris Steel has trumpeted making a dedicated lane on Adelaide Avenue from the Cotter Road on-ramp as saving Weston Creek commuters up five minutes in commuting time.
The extra lane comes by removing almost a kilometre of bus lane on Yarra Glen Avenue, north of Cotter Road, to create additional space for cars.
Ms Le Couteur says the move to encourage more private car use is ultimately bad for commuters and out of step with the government’s climate action commitments.
“Today’s announcement from Minister Steel flies in the face of his own government’s commitments to sustainable transport and climate change action,” she says.
“The Greens don’t agree to the removal of the long-standing bus and carpool lane on Yarra Glen and Adelaide Avenue.
“We should be building more bus lanes, and giving more priority to public transport and carpooling. That is what will make our city more sustainable and less congested in the long run.
“This is the kind of disappointing decision you get when a government wants a cheap, short-term solution, and when they forget about the about the long-term sustainability of the city.
“The Greens recognise that we are in a climate change emergency. Tackling this emergency means investing more resources into public transport and sustainable travel, not reducing our city’s already limited bus lanes.
“The government’s decision may impact particularly on Woden and Tuggeranong where the new bus network has led to a 5 per cent decrease in patronage on weekdays.
“The Greens agree that the current situation with merging traffic can be improved – but it should not be beyond the capabilities of this Government to improve traffic flow without tearing up transit lanes.”