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THE Public Transport Users Association has called for Metro and the state government to ensure commuters can travel smoothly following the decision to shut down the Glen Waverley line for up to 11 days due to major works.
The line will be closed from July 7-15 and from July 21-22 to coincide with school holidays. The announcement last Tuesday morning is likely to affect 20,000 people who take the Glen Waverley line.
President Daniel Bowen said track, signal and overhead failures had been rife and caused major disruptions.
"Major upgrade work does need to be done on Melbourne's rail network to ensure it is reliable."
"The question will be whether the shutdown runs smoothly. Will there be enough replacement buses? Will the buses get a good run on the roads or get stuck in traffic?
"Will there be enough information provided to passengers, and enough staff on the ground to help them get to where they're going?
"Metro and the government must make sure planned disruptions to rail services run as smoothly as possible."
The state government says it expects commuters to only have to travel for an extra 12minutes, but users have already expressed outrage.
One commuter, Perry, was fuming. "If history is anything to go on, there will not be enough buses, particularly on home journeys in the evening. They never seem to be well-planned or resourced," he said.
Despite the major disruptions, commuters will not be compensated. Metro spokeswoman Geraldine Mitchell described the works as "normal" and said buses had been organised to ferry users between Burnley and Glen Waverley stations.
Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder said that without the planned shutdown works would have taken up to a year to complete.
"The project will include the replacement of 45,000 sleepers and 250 metres of fencing,
platform works and renewal of overhead wiring and signals."
This article first appeared on www.monashweekly.com.au
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