By Jackson Russell
Improved bus services in Kilmore are urgently needed for the economic development and health needs of residents, says Member for Euroa Steph Ryan.
Ms Ryan has called on the State Government to improve bus services in Kilmore which she says are ‘desperately needed’.
Kilmore’s current bus service doesn’t reach the town’s main shopping centre or The Kilmore and District Hospital, making two key services hard to reach for some members of the community.
The service is operated by Seymour Coaches but is the responsibility of the Department of Transport and Public Transport Victoria.
Ms Ryan said she believed Kilmore needed an additional bus service from Kilmore East train station, which stops at the key locations.
“I believe one of the greatest problems is because our train service is so frequently delayed, people getting off the train often miss the connection with the bus,” she said.
“That’s by no means the bus company’s fault, they have to run according to the timetable otherwise they’re going to leave someone stranded at a bus stop in town.
“But if we had another bus around town, it would mean there would be more connections down to the train station as well.
“At the moment, the bus waits six or seven minutes at the train station after the train is due to arrive and then it goes. If the train is delayed more than five or six minutes, which it often is, people will miss the connecting bus.”
Ms Ryan said the problem was exacerbated by the location of Kilmore East station, which was more than three kilometres from Sydney Street and had a steep incline on returning to the town centre.
“There’s no walking track for people to even get back to town and even if there was, it’s a long hike up the hill,” she said.
While peak hour services operate roughly every 40 minutes, there are large gaps in the services between 12.40pm and 4.40pm daily.
Ms Ryan said the government had acknowledged the need for better bus services, but it was not happening quick enough in her electorate.
“We can’t continue to grow Kilmore at that rate that it’s growing and not have adequate public transport services,” she said.
A government spokesperson said the government was currently reviewing bus services in Kilmore.
“The government is currently reviewing bus services in Kilmore with the aim of delivering more services, improved coverage and better links with trains,” the spokesperson said.
“We’ve invested more than $200 million to build stronger, better-connected public transport networks across the state, including adding extra routes and more services.”