Another Melbourne CBD tram stop removed

Over the past few years Yarra Trams have been closing tram stops all over the Melbourne CBD, as they embark on a program of building new platform stops that provide level access to the modern fleet of low floor trams. The most recent removal is stop 121 at the corner of Bourke and Spencer Streets, used by trams on routes 75 and 86.

Removed tram stop 121 at Bourke & Spencer Streets, for routes 75 and 86

Closed from 22 May 2013, Yarra Trams gave the following explanation for the closure:

A recent review by Yarra Trams and Public Transport Victoria of the environment and layout at these stops has identified an increased safety risk to passengers and pedestrians. A number of improvement strategies have been trialled with minimal success. Yarra Trams is committed to ensuring the safety of its passengers and has therefore decided to close these stops permanently.

Here is the stop before it was removed.

A2.272 heads south on Spencer Street at Bourke with a route 75 service

Congestion from passengers wanting to board trams bound for the City Centre must have been one of the reasons for the stop closing, as back in 2012 Yarra Trams ran a trial where route 86 trams would skip the stop, instead using the platform stop around the corner.

'Trams to City Centre in Bourke Street' sign at the southbound Bourke and Spencer Street tram stop

However I am yet to be convinced closing the stop will fix all of the problems – plenty of dimwitted motorists managed to miss the stop line for the traffic lights, and almost lose their front bumper to turning trams.

Dimwit who didn't understand what the 'STOP' line means almost loses their front bumper

It also does nothing to fix the congestion at the westbound platform stop at the corner of Bourke and Spencer Streets, where crowds of commuters in afternoon peak fill the street in an attempt to reach Southern Cross Station.

Hoards of passengers attempt to leave the tram stop at Bourke and Spencer Streets

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6 Responses to “Another Melbourne CBD tram stop removed”

  1. Andrew says:

    There was no indication that the stop was closed or that a trial closure was underway, but a tram driver would not let me on at that stop and pointed for me to use the Bourke Street stop.

    • Marcus Wong says:

      IIRC the ‘trams to City Centre depart in Bourke Street’ sign I photographed was only there for a few weeks, and the usual way Yarra Trams informs passengers that a stop is closing is an A4 sized sign in the tram timetable case.

  2. enno says:

    That tram stop looks a lot safer for passengers than many other trams stops are.
    I am very sceptical when tram stops and bus stops are removed, the “reasons” given are usually lame and unconvincing, and far from being the real reason.

    • Marcus Wong says:

      The only real danger is the tight entrance to the safety zone, due to the overhang of turning trams.

      I don’t really buy the time saving claims either – sure, route 86 trams stop just around the corner, but they have to stop at the intersection anyway due to the total lack of traffic light priority.

  3. Scott says:

    It is ridiculous that the tram stop on the corner of Lonsdale st and Swanston is closed. Many people work in Lonsdale st or go to the QV. The tram usually stops at the traffic lights anyway!

    • Marcus Wong says:

      Lonsdale Street is also the Melbourne CBD’s main east-west bus route, where all of the SmartBus services to Doncaster and the eastern suburbs depart from. Public Transport Victoria seem to be doing everything *but* coordinate the different modes of transport!

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