Gippsland rail commuters are suffering through constant delays, cancellations and replacement buses it has been revealed this week.
Speaking in State Parliament this week, Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood said commuter complaints to his office had increased dramatically under the Andrews Labor Government and that frequently those complaints related to the clear lack of reliability on the Gippsland line.
‘Since 2nd May this year, on 41 days train services have been replaced by buses,’ Mr Blackwood said.
‘If you add in the recently announced future service changes, up till 21 September Gippsland V/Line train services will have been replaced by buses on 71 days out of a possible 142.
‘Even the Auditor-General outlined in his report released this week that V/Line has failed to meet key service criteria for the operational performance of its trains and that it is not able to consistently meet punctuality targets.
Mr Blackwood said that Gippsland commuters understood that as a result of the Level Crossing Removal Project buses were required to replace services on a regular basis, but that they believed the Government should be doing more to consolidate cancellations to non-peak times or night works to reduce impact on commuters.
‘These works have caused enormous disruption to commuters from Gippsland.
‘It adds at least an extra hour per day in travelling time, has a significant impact on work and appointment punctuality and deprives hardworking Gippslanders of important and valuable family time.
‘I ask that the Minister request a brief from Public Transport Victoria that identifies the full extent of replacement buses being used on the Gippsland line and that she uses this information to review the use of buses with a view to keeping it to an absolute minimum in coming months and to ensuring that it occur at times that will cause the least inconvenience to Gippsland rail users,’ Mr Blackwood.