The State Government is undertaking a series of bus service reviews across Metropolitan Melbourne and is currently reviewing services within Maroondah, Knox and the Yarra Ranges.
These reviews consist of two community workshops, the first which was held back in February and provided an opportunity for participants to raise their concerns. Issues that were discussed included the need for additional routes to cover gaps in network coverage, as well as the need for more frequent and longer running services.
Tonight’s workshop provided an opportunity to respond to the first draft of recommendations that will be made into the bus network covering Maroondah, Knox and the Shire of Yarra Ranges.
The recommendations were largely positive and included a number of improvements from the written submission I made to the bus review process.
These improvements included a proposed new bus service along Canterbury Road from Camberwell through to Ringwood, a new bus service along Mount Dandenong Road providing accessible and direct access to Karralyka and Maroondah Hospital and improving the directness of routes to make it easier for people to use public transport.
Unfortunately, there was an omission of new services for the Warranwood area and some of the changes for Ringwood North, which included a telebus service operating in a loop to Ringwood Station needs further refinement to provide better connectivity and to ensure quick travel times.
In addition, there was a lack of detail over service frequency and operating span improvements, although there was the recognition that more frequent services were required particularly along main roads such as Maroondah Highway.
Overall the recommendations were largely positive, although these initiatives will only come to fruition if government funding is forthcoming.
The review of bus services has been a positive initiative and it would be a shame if funding was not made available to use this opportunity and demonstrate a serious commitment to providing fast, frequent and readily available bus services across Melbourne and its outer suburbs.