Trains Not Toll Roads

YCAN is campaigning for improved public transport and cycle infrastructure. We believe this is critical for the future liveability of our city.

We oppose the building of the East-West Toll Road as proposed by the Victorian government.

We are actively supporting the City of Yarra’s Trains Not Toll Roads campaign

trains not tolls petition

YES to Public Transport | NO to East West Toll Road

The East-West tunnel will not reduce traffic congestion

80% of traffic on the Eastern Freeway exits at Hoddle St. No improvements are planned to Hoddle St traffic flow so cars still won’t be able to get off the freeway to get into the city.

Trains reduce traffic

YCAN supports the building of Doncaster Rail. Each train would the capacity to replace 800 cars on the road. That’s equivalent to a lane of bumper-to-bumper traffic 3.7 km long. At the morning peak (7.30–9.30 am) trains would run at least every 15 minutes. So that would mean 7000 less cars on the road at that busy time. That’s a lot of traffic off our roads!

Transport choice

The 600,000-plus people who live in Melbourne’s northeastern region (Doncaster, Bulleen, Templestowe etc) are some of the most poorly serviced by public transport. They need real transport choices rather than having to be dependent on cars, which are costly and pollute and congest our communities.

The East-West tunnel is too expensive

The $8 billion proposed construction cost will use up all available government capital for public transport and roads improvement in Victoria for a generation. For the same amount of money we could build Doncaster Rail, Airport Rail, and the Melbourne Metro. This would benefit all of Melbourne and free up space on the roads for freight, deliveries and those who really need to use their vehicle for work.
For the total cost of both phases of the East West Link, we could fund all Melbourne’s railway infrastructure needs and have a great railway network.

[Need that graph showing that all other rail improvements can be built for same cost]

Even if you never use it, you will pay for this project

We don’t know how expensive the tolls will be to use the tunnel, but even at a rate of $20 per day, that won’t cover the construction cost of the road. Yet the Victorian state government is proposing to guarantee profit margins for whichever company takes on the toll road. All Victorian taxpayers will have to subsidise this project through increased taxes.

Trains are quicker

In peak hour a train could get you from Doncaster to the city in 20 minutes. A single-occupant car would take double this.

The cost benefits don’t stack up.

The Eddington Report states that for every dollar invested in the project, Victoria would be lucky to get a return of 50c.

Read more:

Social impact

Building the tunnel and associated on and off ramps for this project will have an enormous effect on the communities in the path of the East-West Toll Road.
People’s homes are being compulsorily acquired. Others will have off ramps and ventilation stations close to their homes, ruining their amenity, yet they will receive no compensation.

Twenty-five percent of Royal Park will be negatively impacted. Travancore Park, Moonee Ponds Creek, the Melbourne Zoo, the Royal Children’s Hospital, and the State Netball and Hockey Centre will all be affected by the toll road. Heritage streetscapes will be destroyed.

The environment

And of course, there is the effect on our environment. This is the reason why YCAN is involved in the campaign to stop the project. More cars on the road means more pollution more tonnes of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Spending the money on trains instead would reduce greenhouse gases, our carbon footprint would shrink, and it would help to ward off catastrophic climate change.

What can you do?

  • Contact YCAN and become involved with our anti-toll road actions, such as stalls to raise public awareness and distribution of information. [link]
  • Contact your local State politician and let them know that you support public transport and oppose the East-West Toll Road. Contact details can be found here.
  • Take part in the City of Yarra’s Trains Not Toll Roads campaign events. Find out what’s happening at
  • Often the private partners constructing toll roads are financed by superannuation funds (and these have incurred huge financial losses on similar new toll roads in Sydney and Brisbane). Contact your superannuation provider and let them know that you will transfer your money to another fund if they become involved in financing the East-West Link.
  • Sign the Trains Not Toll Roads petition

Contact YCAN

Visit this page to contact YCAN.