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During this school holiday, I will be running late and traveling to the cities west of Melbourne.

Buses will operate instead of trains, but there will be significant delays as detour vehicles clog Footscray Road due to the closure of Dynon Road.

The Frankston line will be closed until early August for railroad crossing removal work, while the Upfield and Craigieburn lines will be closed nightly starting next week.

When parts of the Lilydale/Belgrave line were closed from February to May this year due to the removal of railroad crossings, commuters in the eastern suburbs experienced long delays in boarding buses. The line of passengers stretched for about 150 meters along Spring Street. From the corner of Collins Street to the steps of the Houses of Parliament.

Public Transport Users Association spokesman Daniel Bowen said the inability to provide enough alternative buses was a recurring problem. With so many railway stations blocked, future construction will be particularly resource-poor, he said.

“Passengers are often poorly informed, there are not enough staff to help people at stops, there are not enough shelters and shelters at temporary stops. [road] Helping these buses slip past other traffic is a priority,” Bowen said.

“They need to carefully consider their resources, especially during peak hours, and make sure they have enough buses and drivers.”

Chris Lowe, executive director of the Victorian Bus Association, said the alternatives were “as prepared as possible at this stage and no major shortages are expected”.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Transport Planning said the disruptions due to the combination of road and rail were specially planned during the school holidays when driving and using public transport would be reduced.


But its impact will remain. About 32,400 passengers board trains each weekday during school holidays along the affected Sunbury, Williamstown and Werribee lines, according to state government data.

Kath Ward, who lives in Newport and works in Port Melbourne, about 7 kilometers away, worries about how long it will take her to get to work in the next two weeks.

“It’s a total nightmare. I don’t have a car so working from home is not an option,” the 65-year-old said. “I also currently have hip problems and can’t walk very far or fast.”

On the first day, she tries to catch a train-substitute bus to Flagstaff, then a train to Southern Cross, then a bus to Port Melbourne.

“What’s crazy is how close Newport is to Port Melbourne, but it could take two hours to complete it. I know it’s only two weeks, but oh my god.”

Ward said he takes the Westgate Punt, a ferry across the Yarra River, if the commute is tough. But that requires a long bike ride, and she feels it’s not safe to cross the Salmon Street overpass over the Westgate Freeway.

“When I get home, it’s freezing cold and dark,” Ward said.

Hobsons Bay Mayor Antoinette Briffa said the Westgate Tunnel project was originally scheduled to be completed in 2022, so the government should consider additional compensation for the affected city council area.

“It’s a large project and I’m grateful that the pandemic has affected our schedule, but we were able to work during the lockdown,” she said.

The closure of major highways makes it difficult to access the city.credit: Illustrated by Matt Golding

“The impact of these works on residents and businesses in the West, particularly Hobsons Bay, will be significant, and will be exacerbated by the combination of rail line construction and road closures.”

Professor Graham Curry of Monash University, an expert in public transportation planning, said traffic chaos is a necessary evil.

“Even though it’s devastating and terrible, I’m really glad we’re working on these projects because they make a big difference in our future,” he said. “Especially in the West, which is hampered by a lack of infrastructure and needs to be improved.”

Curry said the government chose a quick approach to focus and converge the disruptions during the school holidays.

Work on the Westgate Tunnel project on the Dynon Road Bridge in western Melbourne will disrupt travel in the western suburbs over the next two weeks.

Work on the Westgate Tunnel project on the Dynon Road Bridge in western Melbourne will disrupt travel in the western suburbs over the next two weeks.credit: Jason South

“While this adds significantly to the cost, people prefer immediate pain relief rather than long-term pain, so it was perceived as the method.”

Chun Lu, Liberal Party lawmaker for the Western Capital Region, said the rail and road disruptions are exacerbating existing problems caused by lack of bus services in the western suburbs.

“The West already lacks connectivity, and it’s already hard enough to move from place to place,” he said.

“We don’t have as good bus access as in the east.

Colette Koa, who lives in Seddon and works for a massage company in the city, believes the chaos on the roads and railroads isn’t communicated well enough.

Colette Coe, who lives in Seddon, plans to arrive at work 90 minutes early.

Colette Coe, who lives in Seddon, plans to arrive at work 90 minutes early.credit: Justin McManus

“People are really confused about what’s actually closed.”

Koh, who remembers the traffic chaos after the floods in Malibeenong last year, plans to go to work 90 minutes early.


“Usually I would put the massage cart and table on the train, but obviously you can’t do that on the bus, so you have to drive,” she said. Her employer offered to pay for her parking.

“When Dynon Road and Footscray Road are closed, it creates a bottleneck situation and one of them has been closed for months, so I think it’s a bit annoying. We’re pretty tired.” said Koh.

“These are very safe Labor seats. Maybe they take us for granted, I don’t know. Huh? Or a swing seat?”

Peter Anderson, CEO of the Transport Association of Victoria, a freight industry body, expects a significant reduction in traffic as major road closures and railway line closures increase car driving. bottom.


“There will always be alternative routes, but everyone is going to use that alternative route,” he said.

Elena Brooks, who lives in Altona Meadows and usually takes the train to work in the city, is stressed about getting home on time to pick up her toddler from daycare.

“It’s already a race when you reach the finish line at 6:00 and pretty much everything has to be perfectly aligned to finish on time,” Brooks said.

“My concern is the bus travel time considering traffic jams. Also take into account the fact that two major highways are closed.”

Brooks said he was lucky to have an understanding employer. Sometimes you have to be on site, but sometimes you can work from home or take unpaid leave.

Elena Brooks worries that travel delays will make it difficult to pick up her toddler from daycare.

Elena Brooks worries that travel delays will make it difficult to pick up her toddler from daycare.credit: Darien Trainor

“Simply put, there really isn’t a plan. I just hope everything goes smoothly and that one day my husband can work from home, or one day I can work from home, but not everyone has that luxury.” I know it’s not possible,” she said.

“I think there are still some options in how things work, but not a lot. And it depends on other circumstances.”

A Department of Transportation Planning spokeswoman said travel times would be reduced once the subway tunnel, Westgate tunnel and railroad crossing removal projects are completed.

“We appreciate people’s patience and understanding while major renovations are underway to significantly improve transport in Victoria,” they said.

Metrotunnel project stakeholders will use the closure of the line as an opportunity to lay a new line connecting the Sunbury line with a new transcity subway line, separating it from the Werribee and Williamstown lines.

V/Line trains also run under the Dynon Road Bridge, but most services will run as normal next week as they are far from the metropolitan tracks and have no overhead lines, a spokeswoman said.

A spokesman for the Major Transportation Infrastructure Authority said the agency monitored the network during the disruption and moved replacement buses to where they were needed.

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https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/victoria/two-nightmare-weeks-in-melbourne-s-west-as-trains-lines-shut-road-blocked-20230623-p5diyh.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national During this school holiday, I will be running late and traveling to the cities west of Melbourne.

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