How wonderful it would be to see the city’s beautiful old trams being the heartbeat of Bendigo once again.
So much has been said recently about the disadvantages of reinstating trams to Mitchell and View streets, but have people really anticipated the unique benefits that would come with this venture? Having discussed some options already, it appears likely that should this extension go ahead, double track would be the go for smooth traffic flow and balanced road planning.
Some people in the community have made the point that laying the tracks in Mitchell Street and unearthing the original track in View Street will destroy the ambiance that has been created since the trams were replaced.
I’d say they mean the number of trees that have been planted in the median strips on these streets.
Trees that line the sides of these streets of course would not be touched.
However, I believe by reinstating the trams, some of this will be lost for sure, but by carefully planning small median strips with planter boxes at the bases of the ornate centre poles that could cater for either shrubs or flowers will go a long way to solving this problem.
It may be a good idea to first try this in Pall Mall where the ornate centre poles and double track already exist. And besides the businesses in View Street, including the Art Gallery and Capital theatre, the QEO itself which is the home of the Bendigo Gold VFL club would greatly benefit from the extension.
For example I could see the VFL organising match packages for supporters of Melbourne based clubs to see their teams play against Bendigo Gold, whose tickets would include travel on the train, then the tram and entry to the match at the QEO and return.
Likewise, Bendigo’s 976 Restaurant Tram could also deliver its patrons directly to the Capital theatre after dining or alternatively could meet guests at the railway station for their lunch tour.
A lot of talk has also consisted of the utter waste of money a project of this nature would be, but I beg to differ.
Namely that there are so many opportunities for great business and tourism ideas to flourish.
With some thought, Bendigo’s public transport system could be easily adapted to cater for the trams, integrated with the buses meeting trams at the station, allowing bus patrons to travel to their destination in the CBD on the same ticket.
And of course, the Vintage Talking Tram Tour would also benefit by increasing the number of destinations and adding further attractions to visit.