Call to alter bus times ramps up with petition

Call for change: There are calls for V/Line to change the timetable for connecting buses with the train service.
Call for change: There are calls for V/Line to change the timetable for connecting buses with the train service.

Regular Warrnambool train line commuters want V/Line to reconsider connecting bus timetables.

Passengers travelling on a bus between Portland and Warrnambool train station used to wait just ten minutes before the V/Line train departed for, or arrived from Melbourne.

A new timetable released in September last year means commuters now wait 25 minutes between the two services, sometimes longer.

Port Fairy resident Aileen Culhane said she sat at the station in eight degree weather for 40 minutes on May 8. “Before the timetable changed we would get to the station and people would just put their bags in and we’d go,” she said. “Now, especially in winter, we are sitting there for so long and its cold and dark”.

Ms Culhane starts her twice-weekly commute to Melbourne for medical appointments at 5am and often doesn’t arrive home until close to midnight.

“When you get back to Warrnambool station after a long day, all you want to do is go home, not wait in the freezing cold”. 

Ms Culhane created a petition in January urging V/Line to reconsider the times for connecting buses, which was signed by residents in Portland, Port Fairy, Tyrendarra, Yambul and Mt Gambier. V/Line are yet to respond. 

“I wrote to them when the timetable first came out and their response was very dismissive, saying that the wait time is for other connections,” she said. “But I’ve checked and there are no other connections. There is no reason at all to stop for so long”.