Infrastructure Victoria’s Regional Citizen Jury have proposed to remove V/Line trains from the Metro network, which would ultimately terminate the Gippsland V-Line rail service at Pakenham.
If VRC’s recommendation is approved, all V-Line services will terminate at Pakenham and commuters who wish to travel to Melbourne and the inner suburbs would need to transfer to Metro trains.
Regional Citizen Jury state they will instead provide increased services on the Gippsland line that connect with Metro services in Pakenham to improve access to Melbourne.
Gippsland commuters fear swapping trains at Pakenham will add an extra 30 minutes to their trip to the city.
Coalition members Gary Blackwood and Russell Northe condemn the Andrews government’s move and state that regional commuters should receive the public transport they deserve.
“This service is used for commuters to and from work, to visit medical specialists in the CBD, to visit friends and family and by forcing a change of service at Pakenham it would unnecessarily and unfairly deliver a second class travel system for the Gippsland region”, Mr Northe said.
“There are no benefits to regional commuters in this recommendation, only cost savings for the Andrews Labor Government.”
“It appears Daniel Andrews and his Government have no interest in Gippsland or providing Gippslanders’ with the opportunity to be part of Infrastructure Victoria”, Mr Blackwood said.
A recent report published by Infrastructure Victoria’s Regional Citizen Jury states members of the group ‘represent all of regional Victoria’ and people in regional Victoria have the ‘fundamental right to expect the same core services as people living in Melbourne.’
However, not one jury member was from any town in Gippsland, despite the group supposedly representing ‘all of regional Victoria.’
Instead most of the regional citizen’s jury representatives reside in north-east Victoria.
“The fact that RCJ would recommend that the Gippsland V/Line rail service terminate at Pakenham proves it is a farce and that it does not prioritise the need of regional commuters”, Mr Blackwood said.
‘It appears Daniel Andrews and his Government have no interest in Gippsland or providing Gippslanders’ with the opportunity to be part of Infrastructure Victoria.