The cost of a Warrnambool primary school's camp could blow out due to a restriction imposed by V/Line.
St Joseph's Primary School principal Matthew O'Brien said 104 grade six students and 12 teachers and adults were heading to Melbourne for a three-day camp in October.
He said the school had been advised V/Line only accepted bookings of up to 54 primary school aged children.
Grade six teacher Andrew McCombe approached Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell, who raised the issue with the state's transport minister in parliament.
Mr O'Brien said V/Line told the school to split the booking into two groups, which he said would not work.
This would mean an additional two teachers needed to attend, he said.
"The way the camp operates we need to keep them together as they are booked into the different activities simultaneously," Mr O'Brien said.
"The alternative of course is to take a bus which is a significant cost up and around more than $4000."
He said taking the bus would average $40 per child going towards transport instead of activities.
"Or we have to increase the cost of the camp which goes back to the parents, which is not acceptable at that time of the year," Mr O'Brien said.
He said the service's 100 day limit on forward bookings also impacted on the organisation of the camp.
"We need to know a year in advance so we can budget for our camp and then we levy the parents," he said.
Ms Britnell said it was ludicrous the school was expected to send 100 students to Melbourne on several different regional train services and still coordinate the excursions.
"The last students will be arriving nearly a full day later than the students on the first service," she said.
"Additionally, those seeking to travel on V/Line are unable to make bookings more than 100 days in advance.
"For those who have important events, or a specialist medical appointment, they need certainty they will have a seat on the train and not have the additional worry they may not be able to take V/Line to Melbourne.
"This is specifically placing unfair uncertainty on the elderly and vulnerable."
Ms Britnell said the red tape must be removed to let groups and individuals book on the V/Line services with sufficient lead up time to allow for planning.
A V/Line spokesman said group travel was subject to availability.
"Primary school and preschool groups can travel for free on the V/Line network, with group sizes limited to ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers," he said.
"We look forward to welcoming St Joseph's Primary School on their journey to Melbourne for their camp."
In a statement to The Standard, V/Line said it reviewed each booking on a case-by-case basis and where unable to accommodate a group on its preferred service, it would work with the group on an alternate solution.
It requested St Joseph's submit a formal group booking form within 100 days of travel which was in line with its normal group booking process.
Travel is free for preschool, kindergarten or primary school groups, subject to group size limits. The entire journey on a school day must be between 9.30am and 3.30pm, or after 6.00pm. On weekends, the journey can be any time.
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