I crawl over the West Gate Bridge everyday. I take almost 80 minutes from Wyndham Vale to reach the city during peak hour traffic. To and fro, that’s over two hours gone in commuting each day. Two hours lost with my son. Two hours lost with my family. If I miss appointments, it’s a loss of revenue. I spend two meaningless hours in my car everyday. This was the will of the people that was imposed on the people of West of Melbourne after the last State elections. I take it in my ride over the West Gate Bridge each time.
I’m still not sure if I should moan the project’s demise. I’m hopeful for a distant solution. PM Abbott criticised the Andrews government on the decision to dump the East West Link—a project that was deemed to have rescued residents of Melbourne’s West from traffic snarls. He thinks the Andrews government spent $640 million tax-payers money to not build the East West Link. Abbott categorically stated how the East West Link is absolute necessary hinting that the next state coalition government will revive the project. So the will of the people is going to be tested once again.
The Andrews government may have delivered one of its main election promises by shelving the East West Link. Based on several community groups’ campaign against the EW Link the Labor delivered the final blow and scrapped plans to build the road. The decision will definitely spook residents of Wyndham. It looks bad for commuters who use the West Gate Bridge on a day-to-day basis.
Although a smooth journey from the West of Melbourne into the city looks hard during my working life, I would still like to see a solution to this mess. Look at the frightening statistics: current population in the Wyndham area alone is around 200,000 residents. Add the residents in Hobsons Bay, Melton and Geelong and other parts that use the West Gate Bridge and you will get a major population dependent on the bridge. Over 200,000 cars go over the Bridge each day currently. With rapid increase in population in the West, the thought about just relying on one bridge scares the bricks out of me. That’s the reason we need a solution.
Meanwhile, even before the EW dust settled, Labor revived an old pet project—The Metro Rail project. This project was first planned by the Labor but shelved by the previous coalition government. Between all the shelving and planning of new projects, I really wonder if there’s a solution in sight?
The state and local governments have a few answers: From June there will be 3500 car parks around Wyndham railway stations for residents who take the already overcrowded trains to the city. The hope is that the Tarneit line will ease the congestion on the Hoppers train line. Let’s hope for the best with this one.
More jobs being created in the West. All I know is Point Cook Road is one of the most congested roads in Victoria. This only means that more and more people are commuting to the city to work each day. With Toyota’s Altona Plant closure looming, Wyndham’s future is being tested very badly. There hasn’t been any sort of major announcements to create more jobs in the area. What about the Ferry plans? The Ferry plan from Werribee South is probably in the back burner waiting for another 100,000 people to move to the Wyndham Harbour area. With no clear solutions in sight, I think we need to really analyse the mess we are in. We need to put more pressure on the local and state government to do something more.