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No. 8 Tram

Thursday 11th April 2017

The transition from the much loved and now discontinued No. 8 tram service to the Andrews Labor Government’s No. 58 has been anything but smooth with many constituents contacting me to voice their frustration and dissatisfaction with the new arrangements.  You may be interested in comments I made to the Victorian Parliament on the subject this week, as follows:

St Kilda Road trams Page 68
10 May 2017 COUNCIL Adjournment DAVID DAVIS
 

Mr DAVIS (Southern Metropolitan) — My adjournment matter tonight is for the attention of the Minister for Public Transport. It concerns tram problems along St Kilda Road and in the vicinity. I have correspondence from Denzil Griffiths, who is a Prahran person. He said:

Thought I would give you a quick update on my experience catching the new 58 tram a couple of times to the city this past week …

He talks about the first week of the new timetable, and I might say I have had dozens of complaints and concerns raised with me about the impact of the new timetable. He continued:

Normally I get the 72 along Commercial/St Kilda roads and change to the old 55 to the city at Domain interchange.

I caught the 72 as usual.

When I got off at Domain interchange —

which seems to be the main bone of contention —

the platform was quite crowded with people waiting for the new 58 to the city.

After a while, a 58 tram came along from Toorak. It too was quite crowded and was packed tight when it left. So tight in fact that additional passengers could not get on at Park Street until Sturt Street when a few got off.

That was at about 7.50–8.00 a.m. each morning.

My experience suggests the new 58 is a dreadful blunder inconveniencing many passengers, and not just those catching it from Toorak/South Yarra.

Of course the number 8 tram route had been there since 1927. I have been corrected by somebody who told me it was a cable car before that. That tram has been ditched — ‘removed’ is the word the government used in its own literature; it called it ‘removed’. That tram route, which has been an established part of our tourism system, important for traders and important for people along Toorak Road and in the Domain — all of that has been a very significant part of our history — has now been removed by Jacinta Allan as Minister for Public Transport. She has not added new services; she is substituting and switching services. We want to see a situation where there are more trams and more services added, not the substitution of one service for the other.

Mr Barber interjected.

Mr DAVIS — Absolutely, and that is what most people, I think, would want to see. Let me be very clear here. This is, as Denzil says, ‘a dreadful blunder inconveniencing many passengers’. That is the situation faced by many people who have been contacting my office and also speaking publicly about the impact of these tram changes. It is clear that the government has not understood what it is doing and has not understood the impact that this will have.

What I am seeking from the minister is a very clear action — that she re-evaluate her decision, consider actually reversing the decision and restoring the number 8 route, and instead put on additional tram services that would cover some of the new routes that she wishes to cover.