Member for Morwell, Russell Northe this week in Parliament questioned the Minister for Public Transport in relation to the ongoing poor performance of Gippsland V/Line services.
Mr Northe highlighted the concerns of Gippsland commuters who are regularly forced to deal with delays, cancellations, crowded carriages and buses replacing trains which only adds to the frustration and travel times of commuters.
“We are continually advised that major works are being undertaken on the network including projects such as Sky Rail and the level crossing removal program, and that is why Gippsland services are being compromised,” said Mr Northe
“We could probably contend with these ongoing interruptions and delays if there was a silver lining down the track; however one wonders if there will be any benefit for Gippsland commuters once works on the network are completed” Mr Northe said.
The State Government has been silent on whether travel times for Gippsland V/Line services will improve once works are complete, and this is simply not acceptable given the enormous disruption that has been occurring to Gippsland people.
“To rub salt into the wound, the State Labor Government announced funding recently to investigate a fast train service for the Geelong region. One would think the Government would focus on fixing the Gippsland line prior to spending $50 million on a study for fast rail,” said Mr Northe
In the late 1990’s the then Labor Government promised fast train services for Gippsland including approximate travel times of 90 minutes from Traralgon to Melbourne. What a hoax that turned out to be. If you travel from Traralgon to Melbourne and it takes less than 150 minutes then that seems to be a luxury these days.
“Gippsland commuters don’t deserve to cop the brunt of delays, cancellations and replacement services without receiving a longer term benefit. The State Government must come clean and state categorically if travel times, punctuality and carriage capacity for Gippsland commuters is going to improve and if so by how much and on what services” Mr Northe said.