I can understand why they had a preference for train - no doubt future growth projections for the Doncaster region. Each mode has its upper limits and when you look at the size and density of the area (and that's apparently without much higher-density housing which will inevitably come later as Melbourne's population keeps on booming), tram would not have been to carry it on its own in the long term.
However, it could do a good job in association with bus. The bus network is already in place (just could be run better by the sound of it) and it has priority along the freeway apparently. Supplementing this by extending the Baldwyn North tram to Doncaster town centre and even to Donvale would make a lot of difference as a core corridor route. It could even support bus feeders if it had only big trams and priority running (like Gold Coast). I can't see the rail coming any time soon, so this might be the best alternative.
I notice they've also created another problem for themselves with poor planning. There is a missing link in the Melbourne ring road between M80 and M3. I don't see any reserved corridors, so that's an awful lot of housing to plough through. This is a pretty significant project to relieve inner area congestion and thus help public transport along the way. Sydney reserved its corridors in the late 1940s.
Tony P (who spent a lot of family time in the Doncaster area) ---InTramsDownUnder@..., <transitconsult@...> wrote :
The VR plan was killed because (a) it was far too costly (all that tunnel) and (b) the MMTB put up a light rail project which would do a better job at a far lower cost. The Tram project did not win because it was heavy rail or nothing. It was nothing. The tram project started at Spencer Street, and had a unidirectional loop along Bourke and Collins Streets. The single track lines joined at Spring Street, then up Nicholson Street to Alexandra Parade. It turned east there, and ran along the median of Alexandra Parade and onto the median of the Eastern Freeway, intersecting tram routes at Brunswick Street and Smith Street. After Bulleen Road it would have crossed by bridge onto the reserve on the north side of the road which it would have followed to Doncaster Road, and then east to Doncaster Shopping town - as it then was. There were possible alternatives, one of which would have proceeded via a large one way routing - IMMSMC via the then uncompleted section of the eastern freeway and back up via Elgar Road, another would have proceeded up High Street towards Lower Templestowe, and a third would have continued along Doncaster Road towards, I think, Donvale, which at that time was out in the sticks. The B1 class trams were built for this extension - the booklet shows one of them - there is virtually no difference between what was in the booklet and as built. Overhead in the streets covered by the route was to be converted for dual pole and pan use. All ticketing was to be off tram and they were to be OMO. There were a few other additions, which I have forgotten for the time being and cannot at the mo find my copy of the book. My preference would have been to leave the reserve at Bulleen Road, and head up Thompsons Road, Manningham Road and back down Williamsons Road to Shopping town. The trams would have been in the centre of the road, with stops only at Bulleen Road, the intersections of Thompsons and Manningham, Manningham and High Street, and at Shopping town. In between the trams would be at full road speed - and with a bit of discouragement cars would have been out of the way - no right turns permitted, and the narrow median unbroken except at those major intersections, which would have been interchange points for the bus services radiating to Templestowe and Whoop-whoop. The VR route was ludicrous, in that it carefully avoided the major destination origination point of Shoppingtown. As far as I can make out, there are 10 bus routes that use the Shoppingtown bus station. Other of course possibly by pass this but the map is not as good as the Sydney bus map. Regards Dudley Horscroft