10 April 2011

Fix trains, then roads: commuters

FROM THE AGE: MELBURNIANS want the lion's share of transport funding to be spent on improving the public transport network rather than on building more roads.

A survey of attitudes to transport found that 94 per cent of respondents believed more money should be spent on public transport, while just 68 per cent said the government did not spend enough on roads.

This trend was reflected nationally, with an average of 88 per cent of those surveyed calling for more public transport funding, and 73 per cent wanting more spending on road infrastructure.

The survey, commissioned by Metlink - the marketing agency owned by Metro Trains and Yarra Trams - asked 1000 Melburnians about their use of and attitudes towards transport in 2010.

The survey found:

■ Public transport usage rose by 6 per cent overall (18 per cent of respondents said they used more public transport last year, but 12 per cent said they used it less).

■ The number of people walking more often rose by 15 per cent.

■ The number of cyclists fell overall by 4 per cent.

■ Car usage remained static (19 per cent said they used their car less often; 19 per cent said they drove more frequently).

Metlink chief executive officer Dale Larkin said governments had spent a lot on the system recently, but more was needed. A quarter of respondents to the Metlink survey who said they travelled less frequently on public transport said they did so because it was unreliable, crowded, ''not safe'' or it did not go to their destination.

What should Minister Mulder put first? Whats your view?

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