There is to be no increase in services on the Hurstbridge line in the updated train timetables to be introduced on Sunday 8 May for the Melbourne metropolitan rail network.
This outcome for Banyule and Nillumbik residents contrasts strongly with upgrades for other lines. The Lilydale and Belgrave lines get 25 extra weekday services, Frankston 15 and Sandringham 18 more services each weekday.
So Hurstbridge passengers are left with the same patchy peak hour service during the two hour week day morning peak (6.30 – 8.30 am)with only five departures during this period. This subsides even further to a forty minute to an hourly service for the rest of the day, including the afternoon peak, with the last service departing before 11.00 pm.
As a major activity centre with eleven linking bus services, including the 901 and 902 SmartBuses, Greensborough residents also have a substandard train service. Whilst morning service peak frequency are barely presentable, with just 15 trains city bound in the period 6.30 to 8.30 am, the service falls away to a twenty frequency during the middle of the day on weekdays. Ringwood has 28 city bound trains during the equivalent two hour period.
Increasingly choked by cars on surrounding arterial roads, and with the never-ending growth of the Heidelberg Medical Services Precinct, Heidelberg is crying out for better public transport services. There are fifteen city-bound services in the morning peak which reverts into mediocre 20 minute services during the middle of the day. After 8.30 pm, services only run half hourly.
Saturday and Sunday services are a disaster zone, for the most part running only once every 40 minutes from Hurstbridge, Wattle Glen and Diamond Creek and every 20 minutes from other stations to Clifton Hill. There are larger gaps between services at night on weekends.
The Epping line received similar rough treatment in this timetable review, with no extra train services. With the government sanctioned expansion of Melbourne to the north and the west this is another very bad sign that the provision of public transport in northern and western Melbourne will continue to lag well behind population growth. The inevitable consequence of this trend will be further traffic congestion and decline in the urban environment in Banyule and beyond. There is a lot of catching up to do.
- Metro Moans (godsmustardseed.com)
- Rail claim ‘a bad excuse’ (theage.com.au)
- Train shake-up as myki decision looms (heraldsun.com.au)
- Will the Urban Growth Boundary really shrink? (friendsofbanyule.wordpress.com)