The Victorian Government has released the first ever long-term strategy for public transport in regional Victoria, which includes track upgrades, better rail signalling and new trains.
Connecting Regional Victoria – Victoria’s Regional Network Development Plan (RNDP) sets out a blueprint for better train, coach and bus services for Gippsland and across regional Victoria.
The RNDP outlines the series of infrastructure and rolling stock improvements required to deliver commuter-style services to Traralgon.
The long-term goal of the RNDP is to deliver trains at least every 20 minutes in the peak and every 40 minutes off-peak to Traralgon and five services, five days a week to Bairnsdale.
The RNDP also sets the Labor Government’s long term plan to run five services, five days a week to Bairnsdale, and provide more frequent, reliable and coordinated coach and bus connections across Gippsland.
In the short term, passengers in Victoria’s East will benefit from four more train services every day between Melbourne and Traralgon, a better bus network for the La Trobe Valley, and upgraded coach interchanges at Wonthaggi, Leongatha, Anderson and Koo Wee Rup.
Stations along the Gippsland line will be upgraded and extra car parking to meet demand at Morwell, Moe and Traralgon stations will be investigated.
The Labor Government will also provide $100,000 for a new Parkiteer cage at Traralgon Station, and $18,000 for new signage and level crossing treatments at a number of road crossings on the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail.
The RNDP is the product of one of the largest public consultation programs ever carried out in regional Victoria, with nearly 40 workshops held across the state, gathering more than 15,000 pieces of feedback.
This feedback was critical in the development of the strategy and the recent Victorian Budget 2016/17, which funded more than 170 extra services, 27 new VLocity carriages, and provided nearly $200 million to rebuild V/Line.
Victorian Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said, “This is the first ever long-term strategy for better public transport in Gippsland, with more services, improved stations and better bus and coach connections, to get where they need to go quickly, reliably and safely.”
“The RNDP is the product of one of the most extensive public consultation programs every carried out in regional Victoria, and I thank everyone in Gippsland who contributed to the development of this ground-breaking plan.”