Regional Rail; Regional and Rural Victoria; Local Issues

V/Line Chaos Impacts Rural Patients

12 February 2016

Leader of The Nationals and Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh says the Andrew Labor Government has shown contempt for rural patients who need to access public transport to attend medical appointments in Melbourne.

Mr Walsh said he had been contacted by a Rochester senior citizen who regularly uses public transport to travel to Melbourne for specialist appointments.

“My constituent’s visit to the Rochester Station this week to purchase his V/Line ticket set off a series of events which caused unnecessary distress and confusion,” Mr Walsh said.

It began with a sign on the ticket office to say that the office was closed and would not re-open until 15th February.

A subsequent call to the Public Transport Victoria 1800 number resulted in a recorded message advising the train service on the Bendigo line had been cancelled and replaced with buses. 

Mr Walsh said this created great inconvenience as the bus time table was different to the train time table and  did not fit in with the medical appointment in Melbourne.

“As a final resort my constituent rang the Bendigo electorate office of the Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan to seek further advice.

“To add insult to injury he was greeted with a recorded message asking him to leave his contact details.”

Mr Walsh said stories like this one tell the frustrations of regional commuters across his electorate.

“The Andrews Labor Government’s ongoing V/Line crisis is bad enough but it becomes totally unacceptable when rural patients are unable to access accurate timetables and service information to manage their medical appointments,” Mr Walsh said.

“Ironically for my constituent he discovered when it was too late that the train service from Bendigo line actually ran on the day he needed it!”  Mr Walsh said.

“Regional Victorians are sick and tired of excuses. If Jacinta Allan can’t fix the train mess, then Daniel Andrews should step in and take over,” Mr Walsh said.


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