VICTORIA’S Public Transport department will consider adding extra services to the train line through Colac.
A spokesman for the Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said the State Government planned to develop a short, medium and long-term strategy to improve the train service on the Warrnambool line with the Regional Network Development Plan.
“Service levels on the Warrnambool train line need to be looked at closely after four years of neglect under the former Government,” the spokesman said.
“Communities in south-west Victoria will be consulted as part of the development of the plan, with consultation to kick off in the coming months,” he said.
“Additional services on the Warrnambool line will be considered through that process.”
Polwarth MP Terry Mulder’s Coalition Government promised to increase the daily return train services from three to four within three years if re-elected in last year’s state election. But the Coalition lost the election.
Colac Otway Shire Council chief executive officer Sue Wilkinson said she welcomed the minister’s commitment “to address inadequate service levels on the Warrnambool train line”.
“This is an issue we have advocated strongly for on behalf of the community and we look forward to the State Government’s consultation process, which we hope will result in additional train services,” Ms Wilkinson said.
“The Warrnambool train line service needs to be addressed as a top priority, particularly in light of the recent timetable change which has further disadvantaged our residents,” she said.
“Increasing train service levels will provide a significant boost to our economy, increasing business opportunities and supporting population growth in the shire.”
The call comes as a timetable change on the train line will mean Colac residents using the service to commute to Geelong will now arrive half-an-hour later than usual.
Public Transport Victoria’s network changes communications manager Kerilyn Wyatt said the changes would accommodate the Regional Rail Link in and out of Melbourne.