Public Transport Education | February 21, 2020

PTV nowhere to be found in promised Horsham bus service consultation

Weeks after Labor promised to review the Horsham bus network following a failed redesign, Public Transport Victoria remains silent about any community consultation.

The community was thrown into chaos when PTV changed town and school bus routes at the start of February without consultation, prompting widespread confusion and disorder.

Cuts to some routes, the removal of bus stops and the reshuffling of timetables led to disaster during the first week of the school year, with school students missing buses or arriving at school after classes had started, and some of the community’s most vulnerable residents being cut off from services.

After overwhelming community outrage, some services and closed stops were reinstated.

Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy, speaking about bus services in Parliament on Thursday, said among these was a stop in Alexander Avenue.

“Labor removing this stop forced many elderly residents and/or pensioners to walk long distances to their new nearest bus stop. Some residents in the area require mobility assistance and are not able to walk the distance, meaning they effectively have no access public transport,” she said.

“Alexander Avenue residents and the wider community were scathing of Labor’s decision, and I met with the Minister urging her to reinstate the bus stop. We have since received confirmation that this will happen, which is wonderful news for the residents who were cruelly cut off from services they relied on.

“However we still have huge growth areas unserviced, reduced services to critical demand areas, and the Minister is insistent on cutting seven school bus services back to five.

“The Minister promised to consult with the community on Labor’s failed services redesign and fix the mess she created, but PTV are still in hiding and no one has asked the community what they need.

“This is completely unacceptable. Local people cannot be left in limbo.

“I urge the Minister to immediately commit to retaining the seven school bus services, and genuinely consult with the community to understand their needs and give Horsham the bus services we deserve.”

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