By Brendan Rees
Too many families spend too much time stuck on Casey’s traffic each day, says Casey mayor Sam Aziz.
National Nightmare Commute Day, held 14 September, was a chance for fed up commuters to unleash their frustrations.
The event gives a voice – and a hashtag – to the timewasting experienced by nearly five million Australians living in fast-growing suburbs.
Train goers, drivers, riders and other commuters used #nightmarecommute on social media to share their stories of traffic jams, inadequate parking, crowded public transport and wasted hours getting to and from work or study each day.
Cr Aziz said he hoped the Casey community would rally behind the cause.
“We want to be able to show that our residents – like millions across Australia – face a long and frustrating journey every day, and we want to be able to work with the government to find a way to end that frustration,” he said.
“Five million Australians live in fast-growing outer suburbs across Australia, such as Cranbourne East, Narre Warren and Berwick.
“It means residents in these growing communities will spend up to 800 hours every year commuting on the crowded Pakenham and Cranbourne train lines, or sit in bottlenecks on the Monash Freeway.”
Cr Aziz urged the State Government to “listen and act” when it came to fixing congested roads or building new ones, extending train lines or adding extra services, increasing car parking at train stations, and creating jobs closer to home – “so that people don’t have to face a nightmare commute at all”.
Cr Aziz said the council was aware of congestion along Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road and much needed upgrades to the South Gippsland Freeway and the Monash Freeway.
“But we need your help to lobby the State Government to provide funding to fix these issues and alleviate the pressure we know you as commuters face each day.”
National Growth Areas Alliance research showed there was a $50 billion backlog in roads, rail and health facilities in fast-growing outer suburbs.
Member Councils of the National Growth Areas Alliance are calling for dedicated policies and funding from the Federal Government to address the needs of the fast-growing outer suburbs.
Residents can follow the progress of National Nightmare Commute at www.nightmarecommute.org
Cr Aziz urged commuters: “Once you get to work, school or university; tell us how long it took by using #nightmarecommute on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.”