A Fast Train and an interconnected CBD Precinct

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Whilst I applaud the development of the Ballarat Station precinct, website like this I have concerns on two levels.

First, train travel between Ballarat and Melbourne. An express train can complete the journey from Ballarat to Southern Cross Station in 45 minutes (particularly with the new dedicated line). Why doesn’t it?

My belief is we are being held back by the Melbourne-centric V/Line-based engineers who don’t appreciate the fact that to deliver a ‘fast train’ service for Ballarat commuters – as they boasted with the introduction of the velocity trains – the trip, with no stops, should be under one hour to Melbourne, particularly so with the dedicated line becoming operational later this month.

Another issue with the peak-hour service that I have experienced is having to stand for the entire journey to Southern Cross due to too few carriages being provided; there should always be at least six carriages. I do congratulate V/Line, however, on introducing the concept of ‘quiet’ carriages.

For this to be effective though, every service should have at least one carriage that is ‘quiet’ and the conductor should be vigilant in ensuring that passengers in this carriage comply with this requirement.

Second is the Ballarat CBD Strategy. The station precinct must interconnect with the other city precincts, which include the Civic Hall, entertainment, the arts and university, as well as retail and business. It must not be developed in isolation to these other areas. We must ensure each precinct complements the overall CBD and does not duplicate potential opportunities across the city.

For goodness sake, at least include the former Provincial hotel site, the link to the Civic Hall and also the much-talked-about Camp Street off-ramp as part of the station precinct development.

The current Ballarat City Council has overlooked the work of previous Councils on the CBD – once again, the old story of throwing the baby out with the bath water! Or better still, not being aware of community needs.

Ron Egeberg
Soldiers Hill 3350

Categories: Blog, Uncategorized
This post was written by , posted on January 5, 2015 Monday at 12:19 pm

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