The 2015 Australian Infrastructure Audit noted that the corridor between the Melbourne CBD and Melbourne Airport is already one of the most heavily congested in Melbourne. The Tullamarine Freeway was already operating at, or close to, capacity in 2011. Congestion affects traffic in both directions, particularly close to the airport terminal. Analysis completed as part of the Audit estimated that travel times to the airport during peak periods will increase substantially between 2011 and 2031 (even after the current project to widen the freeway is completed).
Travel time by car in the morning peak from the CBD to the airport is projected to increase by nine minutes, from 33 minutes to 42 minutes, while travel times by car from Werribee and Doncaster are projected to increase from an average 61 minutes to 90 and 74 minutes respectively.
Melbourne’s population growth, combined with expected growth in passenger numbers at Melbourne Airport, will be key drivers of future congestion on the Melbourne CBD to Melbourne Airport corridor.
The Victorian Government, together with the Australian Government, has commenced planning for a rail link between Melbourne Airport and Melbourne’s CBD through the Melbourne Airport Rail Link (MARL) Study. A Strategic Appraisal was completed in mid-2018, which selected the Sunshine Route as the preferred route alignment for the MARL.
The MARL Study will coordinate planning with the Melbourne Airport Land Access Strategy, which is investigating options to improve and strengthen road access and capacity, and to increase existing bus access and services to the airport.
Proponent to identify initiatives and develop options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).