Stop North East Link Alliance activists turned out to greet the first bus services through the Bulleen Park and Ride early on Sunday 30 April.
Interestingly, the first bus service to arrive, the route 200 service does not actually enter the park and ride. Patrons must stand street side on Thompsons’s Road to access the service. The second bus to arrive, a route 905 DART service to the Melbourne CBD from The Pines Shopping Centre in East Doncaster was also not able to enter the park and ride facility because the access road was blocked off.
Hailed by Deputy Premier. Jacinta Allan, as Victoria’s “first green roof park and ride” the park and ride facility feels more like a modern maximum security prison.
At an estimated cost of $69 million, the facility occupies parkland which used to exist west of Kampman Street at the intersection with Thompson’s Road. 35,000 cubic metres of soil has been removed to make way for the concrete structure that is now the Bulleen park and ride.
The haste with which the facility was constructed is explained by the fact that the Victorian Government intends to close down the park and ride facility in Doncaster Road in Doncaster so that they can move on the Koonung Creek Reserve in North Balwyn which is adjacent to the Eastern Freeway. A large part of the Reserve would be lost for the purpose of widening the freeway from six lanes to twelve lanes to take more road traffic.
Most significantly, and as we have outlined previously, the Bulleen park and ride is a major error from a transport planning perspective. It will attract more traffic to a very congested section of the road network where the Eastern Freeway, Thompson’s Road and Bulleen Road converge. This is the last thing we need. The $69 million in public money spent on the project should have been spent upgrading route bus services so that many more people could more conveniently catch public transport close to where they live. This is but another item in the increasingly long catalogue of failures which is the Andrews Government’s North East Link Project.