Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has said complaints to his office regarding V/Line service punctuality on the Gippsland line had exploded in recent months.
The most recent report from V/Line showed short and long distance punctuality for Gippsland commuters were the worst for any region in Victoria, at 82.6% for short distance travel and 72.4% for long distance.
‘In recent years there have been a significant number of people relocate to West Gippsland due to its proximity to Melbourne. They are able to enjoy a semi-rural lifestyle in towns such as Drouin, Warragul, Yarragon, Trafalgar and Moe and still commute to and from the city each day,’ said Mr Blackwood.
‘Under Daniel Andrews and Labor there has been a significant decline in the punctuality of rail services on the Gippsland line.
‘Commuters are spending longer waiting at stations for trains to arrive, longer sitting on trains getting where they need to go, and arriving later than ever.
‘The Andrews Government was given close to half a billion dollars to complete upgrade works along the Gippsland rail corridor by the Turnbull Coalition Government however this work will not address the underlying cause of the problem facing regional commuters, congestion in the Metro network.
‘Labor has also promised that SkyRail will benefit regional rail commuters however they have yet to provide a shred of evidence that shows that will be the case.
‘I challenge Premier Daniel Andrews, Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan or any member of the Labor Government to substantiate their claims about SkyRail and how it will benefit regional commuters trapped behind Metro rail services between Pakenham and the CBD.
The falling punctuality results came at the same time it was revealed that the Andrews Labor Government was pouring millions into advertising proposed rail projects, some of which won’t be completed until 2026.
‘Regional commuters have expressed to me their anger at reports that Daniel Andrews is choosing to spend significant amounts on advertising future rail projects rather than investing in our network now to ease congestion.
‘It was reported last month that $2.2 million alone was spent on advertising the Metro Tunnel, a project that won’t be completed until 2026.
‘Regional commuters need more frequent services, greater reliability, greater capacity and yet Daniel Andrews still chooses to waste funds on advertising projects that either won’t deliver anything to regional commuters or are nearly a decade from being completed,’ Mr Blackwood said.