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Walking, bikes and public transport the big focus in Fishermans Bend's integrated transport plan

The draft Fishermans Bend framework that was released on Saturday included an integrated transport plan that seeks to address targets such as 80% of all trips to be made by sustainable transport modes that were set out in the vision and now carried through to the draft framework.

The raw numbers for the costings in the integrated transport plan are not provided however we do see a range of demand and route options analysis.  

The tone for the plan is set in the opening pages.

"With over 260,000 daily trips expected to be generated by residential development alone, a mode shift to walking, cycling and public transport will have a significant impact on transport and amenity outcomes for the precinct.

Whilst the early provision of high quality pedestrian, cycling and public transport networks presents a signficant challendge, the transformation of the precinct provides an opportunity to create an enduring legacy for Melbourne similar to the Hoddle Grid.

Starting with the bare bones, the new street network proposed for the entire urban renewal area would see several existing large parcels of land sub-divided, especially in the Capital City Zoned (non-Employment) precincts.  

Sandridge, Wirraway, and Lorimer would see the largest amount of new streets added and two major boulevards with trams would be created both north and south of the West Gate Freeway.

Proposed street network - Fishermans Bend Integrated Transport Plan

The first of the widened streets / new boulevards with tram routes would be along Turner Street, through the now government-owned GMH site and Wharf Road.

Turner Street has significant scope for widening/expansion thanks to an electricity distribution easement.

The second of the new boulevards is posed to be the existing Fennell and Plummer Streets.  Fennell Street would be heart of the Sandridge precinct with all three modes of public transport converging on the street between Ingles and Bertie Street.

The streetview below is the approximate location of the Sandridge station, new civic spine and tram route as shown in the plan's maps.

A significant amount of new bridges have been foreshadowed, primarily for pedestrian and cycling links but also across the river in Docklands.  

There appears to be a particular emphasis on creating more links from the Employment precinct into Wirraway and a major bridge appears on the maps from the draft framework on the eastern side of the West Gate Freeway / Citylink interchange connecting Wirraway/Sandridge with Lorimer.  

Proposed pedestrian and cycling routes through Fishermans Bend

The bridge across the river - an extension of Collins Street in Docklands - received particular emphasis in the integrated plan with several pages in part B of the document dedicated to explaining how the transport experts arrived at the preferred alignment.  

The preferred option would see a 6m high tram, pedestrian and cycling bridge constructed to rise in between the existing ANZ HQ and 839 Collins Street in Victoria Harbour and then sweep around to align with Hartley street in Yarra's Edge.  

The preferred position of a new tram, pedestrian and cycle bridge - Collins Street and Hartley Street (bottom right) - Google Earth

The integrated transport plan's recommendation on the light rail states initial priority is the northern boulevard/tram route, however, City of Port Phillip mayor Bernadene Voss said the council's submission to the new consultation round will seek a commitment to deliver the entire tram network within four years to ensure high-quality development and jobs are delivered in Sandridge and Wirraway

We particularly welcome the sustainability objectives, focus on jobs and a knowledge economy, an affordable housing target and a land use planning approach to control density.

However question marks remain about several issues of crucial concern to our community.  There is no definitive timeline, for example, for the delivery of the much-needed tram network

City of Port Phillip Mayor, Cr Bernadette Voss
The public transport network for Fishermans Bend

One other major aspect of the integrated transport plan deals with the alignment and location of stations for a second cross-town underground rail line that first appeared in the 2012 heavy rail network development plan.

Multiple routes were assessed (refer to page 34 in the integrated transport plan) however at the end of the assessment process two options for further assessment were presented.  

The first option will be familiar to some and it involves a direct route under Plummer and Fennel Streets with a station at Sandridge and one in Wirraway.  The second option maintains the station in Sandridge however it takes a more serpentine alignment westward with a station located in the heart of the government-owned GMH site.

Also of note is a new frequent bus route linking Lorimer, Sandridge (including the proposed station) and Domain station via South Melbourne on Metro 1 - the line currently under construction. 

The plan document also notes that many of the existing bus routes already serving Fishermans Bend are infrequent and alludes to upgrades to these routes in the short term, possibly within the next budget cycle.

The main surprise in the document was the inclusion of a new freight route that would see a bridge built adjacent to the Bolte Bridge on its western side.  The freight route would seek to use much of the 220kV transmission easement and would link the road and rail networks behind Appleton Dock with Webb Dock (refer to page 18 in the integrated transport plan).

The proposed freight network for Fishermans Bend

Water transport gets a mention as well with an assessment finding that the only viable routes would be from 3 points - Footscray just south of the Shepherd Bridge, Victoria Harbour & Newquay in Docklands and Flinders Street/Southbank. 

Routes reaching further upstream along the Maribyrnong River as far as the defense site near Highpoint and along the Yarra River as far as Dight falls were looked at but were not found feasible.

The integrated transport plan represents one of the first public documents to be released from Transport for Victoria, the new agency set up and tasked with strategic transport planning job for Victoria.

Click here to read the integrated transport plan.

Read more: Fishermans Bend draft framework released, uplift controls to drive affordable housing.

The Planning Minister in his own words: We have to get urban renewal projects right.

Lead image credit: Sandridge & FAR build out - Urban Design Strategy by Hodyl & Co.

12 comments

Nicholas Harrison's picture

Glad to see you found the surprise freeway (intergrated transport corridor) proposal in the Framework plan.

The corridor will consist of a four lane elevated road and rail structure crossing over the Yarra River to the west of the Bolte Bridge and rising to a similar height to the Bolte Bridge. The road will cross over the Westgate Freeway to the west of the Bolte Bridge on-ramp and continue along the southern boundary of the Westgate Freeway reserve (within the Wirraway precinct) and connect into Webb Dock close to the current road access.

A massive freeway viaduct is a great way to start a new urban precinct, just like E-Gate.

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Nicholas Harrison's picture

Yet again there is no certainty in relation to public transport provision. We don't even have set locations for the proposed stations let alone time frames. How can you put in place a framework plan for a new high density activity centre (Wirraway) without knowing if there will be a station or not?

Weasel words:

To accommodate a new cross city rail connection for Melbourne, should it be required, the draft Framework seeks to protect station options so that the area can leverage off any future rail development.

In this case since the whole area was already rezoned by the previous government the whole area can currently be developed at any time, there will be no staging, so you will have medium and high density development in the middle of nowhere with no fixed public transport for decades. In the meantime people will need cars to get around...

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Aussie Steve's picture

I still am not a fan of yet another bridge over the Yarra River to carry a tram line that could be easily taken care of over existing land and bridges. I am also not sure that the routes selected are the best, and again, the cross city connections are not taken into account. Poor planning from the outset, but this plan is better than what we have at the moment.

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Alastair Taylor's picture

Nick: yep, it's depressing.

Metro 1 which is consuming serious capital on the state government's budget will come online in 2025-2026 and you'd expect they wouldn't want to run its construction cycle at the same time as Metro 2.

Perhaps you could kick off the project like the NSW gov has done with the second phase of Sydney metro - planning started toward the tail end of constructing the tunnels on the first phase - that would be 2020-2021 to kick off the 2 year planning period (whilst the main capital works are heading toward completion on Metro 1) so that construction on Metro 2 might start in 2024-2025 (during the later stages of Metro 1's testing phase).

This is one of the most instructive tables of data within the whole document suite in the online library - the predictions on number of households moving in per year in each of the precincts (the assumption is an average 2 people per household).

A 2020-2021 start to Metro might see it complete by 2030 (assuming that length given its larger scale than Metro 1) right at the time when Sandridge is predicted to gain momentum re: population growth.

If the two tram lines are kicked off within the next 2 years with another 2-3 years of construction they'll probably cope whilst Metro 2 is under construction, but after 2030? yikes.

Plus you'd want Metro 2 in ASAP to get people used to not driving to/in-around/from the precinct anyhow.

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Alastair Taylor's picture

By the way, that table is from the population and demographic report: http://www.fishermansbend.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0021/87060/F...

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theboynoodle's picture

cross city connections are not taken into account

Well extending the 11 tram provides a decent new cross-city route Much better than creating a new tram route that simply shuttles between FB and the CBD.

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pdoff's picture

The thing is, FB isn't really that accessible from many directions. The MM2 takes care of the west. There's nothing south - and the north has significant barriers such as the ports that are unlikely to require traversing by anything other than the Bolte for a long time to come.

That leaves the east. The CBD is taken care of (as usual) and Albert/Middle Park will remain sparsely populated pretty much forever. But I find it disappointing that a spur from the 109 light-rail line was dismissed so quickly. When MM1 is finished and as FB ramps up, I could see a tram service from Domain through South Melbourne using part of the 109 light-rail infrastructure being really useful, beyond what could otherwise be delivered by a bus service.

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Alastair Taylor's picture

^ that route as stated in the plan will be a high-frequency bus. Here's hoping it'll be one with some proper priority built in - i.e at traffic lights and dedicated lanes where needed (through South Melbourne springs to mind).

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Adrian Jackson's picture

Yes cars and public transport for Fisherman's Bend but no bikes cluttering up the place and blocking cars on the roads. Cars Rule OK.

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Alastair Taylor's picture

You're going to be sorely disappointed. But anyhow, make a submission.

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Adrian Jackson's picture

PDOFF - Yes Albert Park and Middle Park have a heritage overlay.

Over 100 years ago the former South Melbourne Council "planners" and house builders were progressive building houses on 1/8th or 1/16th of an acre blocks but this area now is the hottest property market in Australia.

Wide front nature strips, mature plain trees, rear lanes for garage access and rubbish removal plus 90 degree parking out front for many properties. That is 4 car spaces for a 10m double fronted house block so plenty of space for residents, visitors, commuters and tourists cars and its mostly free parking too.

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Adrian Jackson's picture

If the Yarra River did not need to be navigable for motor launchers and rowing boats we could use all those dumped "yellow peril" o-bikes to create the base for a causeway crossing like the causeway linking Malaysia to Singapore.

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