A Liberal Nationals Government will complete a business case for a new, dedicated rail line for regional trains through Melbourne’s south east metropolitan system to make services faster and more reliable for Gippsland passengers.
Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood said local commuters had been frustrated by the lack of investment to improve frequency, reliability and punctuality for Gippsland services once they entered the Metro network and this plan was desperately needed to find a solution for regional commuters.
“Gippsland Train travellers have been to hell and back over the last four years as they continue to take second place to Metro travellers and other Regional commuters,” Mr Blackwood said.
“As well as buying new trains for the Gippsland line, we’ll also invest $8 million in a business case to look at opportunities for a dedicated rail line to put an end to Gippsland passengers being delayed and frustrated when regional trains travelling to and from Melbourne get stuck behind metro trains that stop at all suburban stations.”
The business case will look at ways to separate regional and metropolitan trains out of Melbourne and resolve constraints caused by the Andrews Labor Government’s rushed, ill-conceived Sky Rail infrastructure.
Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh said Victoria’s unprecedented population growth was placing more strain on our existing passenger rail network, including Gippsland.
“The Liberal Nationals will do the work needed to deliver better rail services for the people of Gippsland, to connect these communities with each other and with Melbourne,” Mr Walsh said.
Shadow Minister for Public Transport David Davis said Labor has consistently taken communities in the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland for granted.
“Only a Liberal Nationals Government will deliver better train services for regional centres including Warragul, Moe, Morwell, Traralgon, Sale and Bairnsdale,” Mr Davis said.
According to Public Transport Victoria, just 48.1 per cent of Bairnsdale services and 76.6 per cent of Gippsland services arrived on time in June this year – far short of the 92 per cent target. In the same month, 49 services were cancelled.
Our regional rail commitments also include a $633 million investment to deliver faster, more comfortable and more reliable trains for country passengers.