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Media Release


Midday Craigieburn Services Saved - Give Outer Suburbs Regular Service, Say Users

The Public Transport Users Association has welcomed the backdown on plans to cut midday services to Craigieburn by British transport giant National Express.

PTUA Secretary Vaughan Williams said that the organisation was pleased the proposed cuts, which would have opened gaps of up to two hours in services to Craigieburn, had been rejected by the Director of Public Transport.

"Craigieburn currently has a service roughly every hour through the day - a dreadful service level for a suburban area but at least a consistent pattern. National Express, the owner of V-Line, wanted to make this service even worse by cancelling two daytime trains. Only action by consumer groups, led by the PTUA has avoided the cuts."

Mr Williams rejected claims by National Express that low patronage dictated service cuts.

"Craigieburn is a major growth area and should have the same services as other outer suburbs. If V-Line cannot attract passengers to their services, they should be asking why rather than proposing to close the services down."

"The most obvious explanation is the poor quality of local feeder buses. In the case of Craigieburn, the bus runs on an incredibly complicated route every 40 minutes. You have to regularly wait 20 or 30 minutes for a 'connecting' bus. With 'services' like these, no wonder people prefer to drive"

Mr Williams said that it was time the Bracks Government delivered on its promise to the outer northern suburbs.

"Before the 1999 state election the Government committed to extend electrified services to Roxburgh Park and Craigieburn. More than halfway through their term, the Government appears to have done nothing towards getting an adequate service to these suburbs."

"We are glad the Government rejected the service cut and hope this will signal a renewed commitment to public transport in Melbourne's outer north," concluded Mr Williams

PTUA Office 9650 7898

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Last Modified: 07 January 2002