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Accessibility should be paramount in delivering tram services for Merri-bek

22 Apr 2022

Council welcomes the Victorian Government’s investment in 100 new accessible trams, but believes it must do more to upgrade tram stops in line with federal legislation. 

Mayor Mark Riley said the provision of level-access tram stops requires a partnership between state and local government. 

“Federal legislation requires the Victorian Government to upgrade all tram stops to meet disability standards by December 2022, and unfortunately I can’t see how they will meet that deadline without serious investment,” Cr Riley said. 

“In Merri-bek we have long advocated for public transport to be accessible for all members of the community, and have been calling for this to be actioned more quickly for years. 

“Currently, only one tram route is accessible, leaving three other routes with major obstacles for people with limited mobility. 

“As a priority, the tram stops along Sydney Road must be converted into level access stops. With the 19 tram route spanning from Brunswick to Coburg North, this is one of Melbourne’s busiest areas for traffic and pedestrians, and all residents should feel safe and able to access shops and services.” 

“We are ready and willing to work with the Victorian Government to ensure fair and equitable access to public transport for everyone in Merri-bek.” 

In addition to the 19 tram route, Merri-bek’s routes 1 (East Coburg), 6 (Coburg), and 58 (West Coburg) continue to languish in accessibility. 

Council welcomes the Victorian Government’s recent introduction of low-level accessible trams on Tram Route 58, but accessible tram stops are not expected to be delivered on this same route for a number of years.