Inconvenient decision

August 02, 2017

I refer to PTV’s decision for coaches not to stop in High St, Nagambie, but at Nagambie Railway Station only.

For many years, V/Line coaches have picked up passengers on the corner of Marie and High Sts, Nagambie at 9.43am and 11.30am, taking them to Seymour to catch the trains to Melbourne.

They have also stopped on the Shepparton run in the afternoon on the other side of High St, about 4.30pm near the lake to allow passengers to get off there.

This has been a good service for pensioners, those who do not drive, and students, and has made the service easily accessible for people to use.

Now we have been notified that as of August 23, the coaches will only have one stop — at the Nagambie Railway Station.

This seems odd because there are no trains arriving then from either Shepparton or Melbourne.

I have written to Strathbogie Shire Council who said it was a V/Line decision, that it was not part of their new design for angle parking in their High St redevelopment scheme.

So I have now written to PTV (Public Transport Victoria) and the PTV ombudsman and V/Line offices in Melbourne about my concerns.

This is crazy seeing the bus has to drive down to turn into High St (100m from original stops) anyway to go in either direction — Shepparton or Melbourne — after leaving the station.

So, why stop there and inconvenience passengers by making them walk 1km to the station or back from it to High St, and in my case, another 1km to home?

Can you imagine me taking a suitcase along that distance, which I often have done, if coming back from or going to Broadmeadows to catch the airport Smart Bus connection.

I also take the bus to Seymour to catch the Melbourne train for medical appointments. It is easier to go from Southern Cross station to East Richmond station to go to Epworth hospital, or North Melbourne station to go to the Royal Women’s Hospital or Peter McCallum Hospital by an urban coach than trying to park in those hospital areas.

I know of other pensioners who walk 2km to the High St stops now, and who will find it very hard to walk the extra 1km to the station to get the bus, and back again after being dropped off there.

They also travel to Melbourne or Shepparton for medical reasons.

Nagambie has an ageing population, and not all can drive or be taken to the station.

I believe this decision to only stop at the station was called for by the PTV then V/Line sanctioned it.

I don’t think the people making this decision consulted with the people who use the service.

I would like this situation researched further and for people to have a say about this necessary public transport service to Nagambie and outlying district folk.

If anyone needs to write or call V/Line about this, they can contact me for the details.

If we do nothing, it will just happen and so many will be disadvantaged.

I feel that they will no longer use the service if they have to go to the station, which has no proper shelter, only two shells which house four people, and is open to all kinds of weather.

This decision may suit the service provider, but it will not provide the care and support for our community of Nagambie and district which should be paramount.

— Diane Grant, Nagambie

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