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Media Release – Monday, 1 August 2005
Ministerial Ignorance Terminates Transit City
The Minister for Transport has openly admitted to the continued public transport neglect within Maroondah through mistakenly classifying the Ringwood Transit City as a ‘low density and dispersed residential area’.
“It is a dire insult to our community that Peter Batchelor, the Minister for Transport, has failed to provide a satisfactory explanation for this mistake and has instead relied on contradictory statements in a poor attempt to explain why three key bus routes in Maroondah were excluded from the Principal Public Transport Network”, Ringwood Transit City Community Coalition (RTCCC) Spokesman Alex Makin said. “The outright refusal to correct this oversight means that Maroondah residents, such as the retirees of Cherry Tree Retirement Village will remain socially isolated due to a lack of Sunday and evening bus services”.
On the 6th of October 2004, Andrew Olexander, Member for Silvan Province, in discussion with the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) Outer East Branch requested the inclusion of three additional bus routes within the Principal Public Transport Network (PPTN). The chosen bus routes included services along Maroondah Highway (route 670 – Ringwood, Croydon, Chirnside Park and Lilydale), Canterbury Road (route 679 – Ringwood, Lilydale via Kilysth and Heathmont) and Wonga Road (route 364, Ringwood to Doncaster East via Ringwood North and Warrandyte). All bus routes serve major roads within Maroondah and connect a number of activity centres. The PPTN includes bus routes that will receive service upgrades as part of Melbourne 2030.
“Peter Batchelor’s excuse to exclude these vital bus services ranges from comical at best or simply deceitful and tragically ill-informed at worst, Mr. Makin said. “The claim that these three bus routes ‘do not provide direct links between activity centres’, is simply false. Route 670 for example, connects the activity centres of Ringwood, Croydon, Chirnside Park and Lilydale and runs along Maroondah Highway for its entire duration, despite ill-informed claims to contrary.”
“It is abhorrent to deny the key thoroughfares connecting Ringwood, such as Maroondah Highway with fast, frequent and readily available bus services particularly while there are plans to increase the population densities within Ringwood and Croydon. Higher densities will be severely detrimental to Maroondah if public transport services are not increased. The very notion of Ringwood as a Transit City is close to being terminated due to the ignorance of Peter Batchelor”, Mr. Makin concluded.
ALL MEDIA COMMENT: ALEXANDER MAKIN ON 0409 136 213