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Train travellers are unimpressed with Warrnambool’s new timetables and reports show punctuality is slipping.
Over the past 12 months services between Melbourne and Warrnambool have not met the accepted 92 per cent target for punctuality.
Performance ratings and data for June was released on Friday by Public Transport Victoria, detailing a further decrease in trains arriving on time.
Trains arrived on time in 87 per cent of services, slipping from 88.6 per cent since May.
More than 200 people have a signed a petition calling on the state government to address the issues, which includes implementing a fourth daily service.
On Friday at Camperdown station, Vivienne Crompton and Bev McArthur handed out flyers for the petition and chatted with travellers.
“Everyone we spoke to was upset with the changes,” Miss Crompton said.
“It’s adding 35-minutes to the journey in one direction and 11-minutes on the way back. No-one was impressed when they heard it was slower. We need more efficient trains and more seats.”
In a letter to the editor in Saturday’s edition of The Standard, Port Fairy’s Maria Cameron says travellers arrive in Melbourne too late for meetings or appointments and a day trip from Melbourne to Warrnambool and back is an “exhausting 17 hour day.”
Mrs Cameron wrote: “This is not a way to encourage the use of public transport and get our vehicles off the road.”
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy met South West Coast MP Denis Napthine at the Warrnambool Railway Station last week, calling for proper consultation from the Andrews Government to ensure an appropriate timetable was implemented.
“South-west travellers have been ignored by this city-centric government who failed to consult with even one south west resident before implementing this out-of-touch timetable,” Mr Guy said.
Dr Napthine said travellers deserved better with his government pledging to boost services along the Warrnambool line at last year’s state election.
Then opposition leader Daniel Andrews did not match the pledge.
“It is unthinkable that this Labor Government has arrogantly failed to consult with the community before changing the service with this impractical timetable,” Dr Napthine said.
“South west residents deserve proper consultation with a workable timetable.”
This article first appeared on www.standard.net.au
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