South West Coast MP Roma Britnell has demanded Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan urgently address issues on the Warrnambool rail line to stop passengers being inconvenienced by late trains.
In December, just 15.4 per cent of services were delivered on time. It was the worst figure in Victoria, it’s the lowest punctuality figure on any line in the past year.
Trains on the line have been slowed to 100km/h between Waurn Ponds and Warrnambool since late last year under direction from the Rail Tram and Bus Union. The union has concerns about the safety of a number of level crossings following a collision between a train and a truck in July.
“It’s outrageous that only 15.4 per cent of train were on time last month. It confirms this Labor Government cannot run an efficient business,” Mrs Britnell said.
“For almost two months now passengers on the Warrnambool line have been faced with these outrageous delays and there has not been any indication what the State Government will do to fix the problem.
“When asked about the delays, Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan only talks about the new service due to start on January 29, completely avoiding that every single train on the line is being delayed by up to 50 minutes.
“What guarantees do we have that the fourth service won’t make the delays even worse?
“If commuters in Melbourne were dealing with delays like this, heads would roll. Why is it not the same for country passengers?”
Mrs Britnell said V/Line is a business unit of the State Government; it is funded by the taxpayer to provide an efficient service.
“That is not being delivered on the Warrnambool line,” Mrs Britnell said.
“The Minister cannot sit on her hands any longer. She must take action to rectify the issues so trains can return to full speed and get passengers to and from Melbourne within a reasonable amount of time.
“It’s not good enough to factor the delays into the timetable so punctuality targets can be met.”