1 July 2014

Manningham Council has grave concerns about the reduction of bus services in the municipality and the removal of important public transport connections to neighbouring areas, especially those with tertiary education and hospital services.

Manningham has no tertiary institute and no public hospital within its boundaries and its residents rely heavily on transport connections to these facilities in neighbouring municipalities.

As the only municipality in the Melbourne metropolitan area with no train or tram services, a well connected bus network is critical to help residents to commute between their place of residence and key service centres.

Council appreciates the intent of the changes being introduced following the State Government’s bus services review, and that there will be improvements on some routes, but the loss of the 286 Route running directly between The Pines and Box Hill will be to the detriment of the local community.

Manningham Council Chief Executive Joe Carbone said: “While the discontinued Route 286 will be duplicated in parts on other routes, the loss of this specific service, and changes to the 295 service, will result in the loss of the only two direct links between The Pines and the Doncaster East area to Box Hill and commuters will need to change at either Westfield Doncaster or Blackburn train station.”

“This is significant considering the route provides direct access to Box Hill TAFE and the Our Lady of Sion Girls College in Box Hill, as well as the Epworth Eastern and Box Hill hospitals. The 286 Route is one of the most patronised services within Manningham with more than 400,000 boardings a year, and we struggle to see the justification to discontinue this service.”

Council will be writing to the Minister for Transport and PTV to express these concerns, especially given that the changes will be introduced without any consultation with either Council or the wider community.

“We will be reminding the Department of Transport of its own previous recommendations from its 2010 bus services review, including the need to provide direct services with higher frequency along key corridors to key education, health and employment services, and for built up areas to have bus services within 400 metres of properties and key destinations, as these appear to be hit and miss in the changes announced today,” Mr Carbone said.

For more information on the bus routes, including new timetables and route maps, visit Public Transport Victoria or TransDev Melbourne.

Read more information provided by TransDev Melbourne (PTV)

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