Residents already alarmed by the prospect of increased traffic from the West Gate Tunnel had their fears heightened when plans for a new suburb in Altona North were advertised last week.
The former Don Smallgoods site, known as Precinct 15, is to be developed by a number of landowners into 3000 dwellings for about 7000 people.
The 67-hectare site, fronting Blackshaws Road and bounded by Kyle Road, New Street and the West Gate Freeway, is about half the size of Melbourne’s CBD.
Hobsons Bay council anticipates 82 per cent of the precinct’s future residents will drive vehicles.
Ming Wong, a member of the Don’t Destroy Millers Road group, said residents were concerned about traffic and wanted a train station incorporated in to the development.
“Upgrade to the existing freight rail right next to the subject site to include a passenger line must be negotiated in to the project,” she said.
Spotswood South Kingsville Residents Group member Jess Marnich said drivers were already sitting in traffic for longer and longer periods trying to get onto Melbourne and Millers roads.
“Developments such as these will further increase pressure on north-south traffic flows,” she said. “A new train station would help with movement assuming that performance and frequency of trains improves.”
Hobsons Bay mayor Sandra Wilson said council anticipated a significant increase in traffic from the tunnel and Precinct 15 and supported calls for a new train station.
“Our report … includes suggestions for the Victorian government to be visionary and include an extension of the proposed connection from Fisherman’s Bend to Newport to provide a service to Precinct 15,” she said.
Acting Roads Minister John Eren said comprehensive traffic modelling for the West Gate Tunnel project took into consideration the proposed development at Precinct 15.
“The modelling shows no significant change in traffic numbers on Blackshaws and Millers Road near the Precinct 15 site due to the project,” he said.
Acting Public Transport Minister Jaala Pulford said there were no current plans to introduce a new train station for Precinct 15, but a future bus network would connect residents with Spotswood and Newport stations.