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Gippsland commuters have been forgotten

Gippsland Nationals MPs are calling on the Andrews Labor Government to improve services for commuters on the Gippsland Line after more appalling performances for punctuality and reliability in June.

Tim Bull, Member for Gippsland East and Danny O’Brien, Member for Gippsland South say Gippsland commuters have been forgotten by the Andrews Labor Government with the latest PTV performance data showing Gippsland line services are increasingly unreliable, with fewer services arriving on time – or at all.

Every second Bairnsdale line train or bus service was late last month (48 per cent punctuality), falling far short of the target of 92 per cent, while 49 services were cancelled all together. This performance was by far the worst in the state.

“We have been told that these delays and cancellations are due to works and platform upgrades in the metropolitan area,” Mr Bull said

“I can appreciate the need to upgrade infrastructure, in fact it’s something I’ve been fighting for on the Gippsland line since being in office, but it’s important that Labor work with V/Line to ensure minimal disruption to the commuters.

“Sometimes it’s necessary to replace a train with a bus, but that bus still needs to get the commuter to their destination on time, even if it means adding an extra service during the works period.”

Mr O’Brien said Daniel Andrews and Jacinta Allan had abandoned Gippsland travellers.

“Gippsland passengers deserve better than we’re getting under city-centric Labor,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Daniel Andrews is prepared to invest billions in metro rail, but has abandoned country travellers leaving more and more Gippslanders arriving late or stranded on replacement buses.

“If elected, The Nationals have announced a $633 million plan to buy new, fast, reliable trains for country Victoria and we’ll investigate options to overcome congestion on tracks at the Melbourne end.”

Due to signalling, power and platform upgrades in the metropolitan area, coaches will replace all Traralgon and Bairnsdale trains for the entire journey from Monday 6 August until Tuesday 14 August, meaning further disruptions for Gippsland passengers.

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