V/Line will review connecting bus timetables on the Warrnambool train line after a petition from passengers.
Port Fairy commuter Aileen Culhane submitted a petition with about 40 signatures calling on the public transport operator to change a 25-minute wait between buses and train services.
She said more often than not the train service was running late, meaning commuters were forced to sit at the station in the dark and cold, sometimes for an hour.
A V/Line spokesman said it was working to “find the balance between reducing passenger waiting times for connecting services at Warrnambool with the need to allow sufficient time in the schedule for operational and passengers’ requirements”.
“The current waiting time for the connecting coach is something we’re looking at,” he said.
“V/Line will always look to minimise the long wait times and inconvenience caused to our passengers when waiting for connecting coaches and trains.
“We understand the frustration shared by some Port Fairy passengers at the moment and we apologise.”
Ms Culhane was frustrated with the written response to her petition, but the comments to The Standard from a V/Line spokesman are a potential breakthrough.
Ms Culhane received a response from a V/Line customer service officer in mid-June.
The response said connection times were put in place in 2016 due to track speed restrictions on the line.
“Restrictions were put in place after the incident at Pirron Yallock in 2016, where a truck driver almost lost his life,” the letter read.
“Following that incident, V/Line put speed restrictions in place at 17 passive level crossings between Waurn Ponds and Warrnambool where there is a poor line of sight for both train drivers and road users.”
V/Line removed speed restrictions at the Pirron Yallock level crossing and between Geelong and Warrnambool by December last year.
Ms Culhane said the response was disappointing.
“To me, it’s just a lot of corporate speak,” she said.
“It’s been two years and the timetable clearly isn’t working so why hasn’t it changed?”
“I’ve had people ask me what’s happening with the petition and with this response I can’t even give them an answer.
“V/Line is treating this like a bit of a joke.”