Cosmetic fixes won’t fix poor performance on Bairnsdale line
Nearly 15 per cent of services on the Bairnsdale line ran late in June, with the line continuing a five year streak of poor performance.
The latest V/Line performance figures show just 85.7 per cent of trains ran on time in June, far below the performance target of 92 per cent – which hasn’t been met in the past five years.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull said the ongoing poor performance meant it was impossible for regional passengers to plan ahead and have confidence they would arrive on time.
“Many travellers need to utilise public transport to get to specialist medical and other appointments in our city-based hospitals.” Mr Bull said.
“The unreliability of the service makes it impossible for Gippslanders to rely on public transport to get them to appointments on time.”
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien said despite the constant works and replacement buses, nothing had changed for local passengers.
“A dedicated Gippsland line into Southern Cross Station would go a long way to improve performance but this government won’t even consider it,” Mr O’Brien said.
“I receive numerous complaints from travellers about reliability, connecting service issues and security concerns. People are turning away from the V/Line services which is putting more vehicles on our roads, adding to the congestion in Melbourne.”
In June, 7 of Victoria’s 11 regional lines failed to meet the 92 per cent punctuality target. It means many long-distance passengers were delayed by more than 11 minutes.
Shadow Minister for Regional Public Transport Steph Ryan said while country trains run late – or not at all – Daniel Andrews’ plan to improve services was new seat fabrics and new carpet.
“The Federal Government has delivered more than $1.6 billion to upgrade the state’s rail network, but the Andrews Labor Government is investing just four per cent of the capital funding for public transport in this year’s Budget into Regional Victoria,” Ms Ryan said.
“Daniel Andrews has found billions to put into level crossing cost blowouts in Melbourne, but when it comes to Regional Victoria we’re treated as second-class citizens.
“Instead of tinkering with cosmetic fixes, we need genuine investment in track and signalling upgrades and fast, reliable, comfortable new trains.”