Call to future-proof Calder Park Drive
Published on 20 September 2022
With planning for essential upgrades underway on Calder Park Drive, including removal of the level crossing, and in the lead up to the November Victorian Government election, Melton City Council is calling on all major parties to commit to a new rail station at Calder Park.
Council is asking for an overhaul the Calder Park Drive corridor between Calder Freeway and Melton Highway, replacing the current dangerous intersection with a full diamond interchange, duplicating the lanes – and building a new Calder Park Train Station.
The Victorian Government has started preliminary work on removing the dangerous level crossing on Calder Park Drive and committed to a business case on upgrading the interchange with the Calder Freeway. Melton City Council welcomes this investment, however, believes a fully integrated transport approach for the precinct will take cars off the road and relieve congestion on the already at capacity Watergardens car park.
The Calder Park Drive corridor is the site of 20 crashes each year and has more than 20,000 cars passing through each day. Modelling conducted by Melton City Council indicates this figure will rise to nearly 34,000 by 2031.
With more than 96,000 people living within close proximity to Calder Park and this number projected to grow to 150,000 by 2051, Calder Park Drive will continue to get more congested and more dangerous without immediate investment, especially if more isn’t done to get commuters off the road and on to public transport.
North of Watergardens Station, there’s nearly 10 kilometres without a train station, despite being one of the fastest growing residential areas in Melbourne. In the same distance east of Watergardens towards the city, there are four stations.
Building a new train station at Calder Park should be timed with the Level Crossing removal and the Calder Park Interchange timeframe. This new station would alleviate pressure at Watergardens Station, reduce road congestion and car dependency for the growing population, while opening up local tourist drawcards like Organ Pipes National Park to the rest of Melbourne.
Quotes attributable to City of Melton Mayor, Cr Goran Kesic:
“Our rapid population growth will continue to put stress on our already congested roads and the overcrowded Watergardens Station.”
“By including a new station as part of the Level Crossing Removal project, there would be major cost savings and delivery of an integrated approach to transport infrastructure.”
“There is no benefit to the community to draw out the disruption from the partial closure of Calder Park Drive. It makes sense to deliver the interchange, duplication and new station at the same time as the level crossing removal and future-proof the precinct. Let’s get it done right.”
Quotes attributable to local Hillside resident, Darren Cutajar:
“Getting to the station in peak hour is a nightmare with people trying to get kids to school and childcare congesting roads. But once you get to Watergardens Station, parking is terrible with parking spots filled early.”
“Now that I am working hybrid, I travel to the city by car as I can’t risk not getting a car park.”
“If a Calder Station is given the green light, it would be within walking distance for me and my adult children. Doing our part for the carbon footprint.”