8th of February 2024, 17:41
Legislative Council of Victoria, Melbourne

David ETTERSHANK (Western Metropolitan):

My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Housing in her capacity representing the Minister for Roads and Road Safety. However,
the matter may also touch on the responsibilities of the Minister for Transport Infrastructure, so I am happy for the matter to be directed to that minister if it is more appropriate. Sorry about that introduction.

My adjournment matter concerns the Ashley Street underpass at Tottenham station in West Footscray. The Ashley Street underpass is simply not fit for purpose. Incredibly and unfortunately, it provides the only access over or under the train tracks for at least 5 kilometres, and it is the only way to cross between West Footscray and Sunshine. The underpass regularly floods when it rains, and during the recent heavy rains we have experienced this summer it has been flooding a lot. However, even on a fine day it is described by residents as ‘miserable and uninviting’, with poor lighting, no security and no bike path.

It is not much better for motorists. The underpass is situated at the intersection of Ashley Street and Sunshine Road. Sunshine Road has five lanes and Ashley Street has four, but the underpass has only two lanes, creating a ginormous bottleneck. This affects the flow of traffic from north to south between Braybrook and Tottenham, but also traffic from the port, from Footscray to Sunshine and through to the west.

It is my understanding that the Ashley Street corridor currently has a public acquisition overlay that secures additional land for road widening, which would allow for Ashley Street to become a four-lane road. The need for future road widening was also considered as part of the regional rail
link project, which also proposed an upgrade to improve pedestrian access to Tottenham station. The action I seek from the minister is to advise what action is being taken by the government to enhance the accessibility, safety and traffic capacity of the underpass such that it becomes fit for purpose.

Written Answer
Received: 14 March 2024
Hon. Melissa Horne MP
(Minister for Casino, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Minister for Local Government, Minister for Ports and Freight, Minister for Roads and Road Safety)

I thank the Member for Western Metropolitan Region for his question.

An integrated approach is needed to ensure that the development of the western transport network balances transport activity with land use functions. Such an approach includes considering modal journeys and priorities for heavy vehicles and freight movement together with public and active transport in the context of land use changes.

The broader network is changing through big build projects such as the West Gate Tunnel Project and Melbourne Airport Rail. Initiatives such as the pop-up cycling trial, that in part uses alternative routes, will help to support options for people to move around this area.

Ashley Street is recognised as an important north-south arterial network corridor, linking areas of Tottenham and Braybrook in Melbourne’s inner west. The public acquisition overlay ensures Ashley Street is able to be widened in future.

Although there are no plans to upgrade the Ashley Street underpass at this time, the Department of Transport and Planning (DTP) will continue to monitor the area, and secure land required for the future upgrade of the Ashley Street corridor as part of future adjacent land-use changes and transport projects.


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