The Eastern Ranges Retirees is a seniors group based at Maroondah Federation Estate and encompassing members from Maroondah, Knox and the Shire of Yarra Ranges.
This morning I was invited to speak at a meeting of the Eastern Ranges Retirees in regard to public transport advocacy and the need for community involvement in seeking public transport improvements.
While there is understandably an emphasis on infrastructure improvements within the growth areas of Melbourne, there is the risk that the outer east will continue to miss out on much needed public transport improvements.
Projects such as the redevelopment of Ringwood Station, track improvements along the Belgrave and Lilydale lines, new rail lines and tram extensions as well as further bus improvements are urgently required for Melbourne’s outer east.
Community groups have a critical role to play in encouraging governments to invest in public transport improvements. The bus service reviews represent an opportunity for the community to advocate for service frequency and operating span improvements to the bus network and submissions have recently been extended to Friday the 3rd of April.
In regard to infrastructure improvements there is a need for ongoing community advocacy to ensure that projects such as the redevelopment of Ringwood Station are delivered. Ringwood Station currently fails disability access standards, with many people choosing to avoid using the station due to this difficulty.
It is clear that the funding commitment for the station redevelopment must be expanded to ensure the creation of a Station that is safe and accessible and integrated through pedestrian, bus and bicycle facilities.