North Ringwood Community House AGM

Today I attended the North Ringwood Community House AGM with the aim of further discovering the services that they offer to the community.

The North Ringwood Community House located at 120 Oban Road, Ringwood North offers career counselling and a wide range of public courses including accredited courses in areas such Home and Community Care. Other courses on offer include computer tuition, pilates, yoga and many arts and crafts.

For further details please visit

Barnsdale Way Information Session

Tonight residents of Barnsdale Way located in the north of Loughnan’s Hill Ward were invited to attend an information session regarding the results of a council commissioned into the role and safety of Barnsdale Way following its growing use as a through road for traffic.

Barnsdale Way was initially constructed as part of a staged residential subdivision of former bush land made up by a small number of larger land holdings.

The meeting tonight was extremely well attended with numbers in excess of 50 residents demonstrating the united stance that exists to find a solution. Further consultation will now be undertaken including the completion of a formal survey, which will be presented to council in May.

Following the results of these surveys further consultation involving neighbouring streets will be conducted.

I thank all residents for their attendance at the information session and for demonstrating their support to finding a solution, I can assure all residents of Barnsdale Way that I understand the safety issues that exist within Barnsdale Way.

Moving into Bond Street, Ringwood

I’m pleased to announce that I have moved home into Bond Street, Ringwood within the Ringwood Transit City Area.

The future of Ringwood and the Ringwood Transit City will provide many challenges and opportunities. It is therefore imperative that there is a local representative available to experience these changes first hand to ensure a positive future for Ringwood.

Eastern Region Integrated Transport Group – A united voice for public transport advocacy

The Eastern Region Integrated Transport Group (ERITG) held its second meeting for 2006 with the aim of establishing specific goals and objectives for the current year. Given the imminent release of the State Government’s Transport and Liveability Statement it is imperative that the eastern region provides a united voice in its call for public transport improvements.

ERITG is fortunate this year to have strong council involvement from Knox, Manningham, Monash, Greater Dandenong and Maroondah the combined determination and input of these councils will help ensure that the eastern suburbs are finally provided with a comprehensive public transport network.

The Age: Commuters jump on extra services

The Age (via the Australian Associated Press) has reported that Melbourne’s public transport has moved half a million Games spectators on top of its normal commuter load over the first five days of the Games.

Despite minor problems caused by delays and the archaic Metrol signalling system still used within Melbourne the system has performed reasonably well:

Alex Makin, from the Public Transport Users Association agreed the system, with an extra 30,000 services, had coped well with the pressure.

However, Mr Makin said the increased usage was not just by spectators and was proof the Games’ time table should be adopted permanently.

It is imperative that these additional services – and in the particular the evening 20 minute frequencies on the rail network (as opposed to half hourly) and increased evenings bus services are continued:

“What we have found on the bus network in particular is there’s a large number of regular commuters using those (extra) services,” Mr Makin said.

The SmartBus program which operates along Springvale, Blackburn and Warrigal Roads has clearly demonstrated that people will use public transport when the service is frequent, reliable and readily available.

“People will use public transport more when there are additional services provided,” he said.

Route 665 along Stud Road is the future Ringwood to Frankston SmartBus and one of the routes provided with additional evening services. This route is Melbourne’s seventh most highly patronised bus route yet it normally ceases operating at 7:45 pm. Given that this route will be upgraded as part of the SmartBus network these additional services will be required.

Likewise route 670 along Maroondah Highway, linking Ringwood with Chrinside Park, Croydon and Lilydale, has also been provided with evening services and travels along the main thoroughfare within Maroondah.

The government has shown that it has the budgetary capacity to improve public transport and retaining the improved evening services will finally allow the government to achieve progress towards to the goal of 20% public transport modal share by the year 2020.

Melbourne’s public transport must be expected perform at all times and not just when there is an international spotlight on Melbourne and the government.

PTUA Outer East Branch Meeting – Ensuring better public transport for all of Melbourne

March is a crucial time for public transport advocacy, with the Commonwealth Games underway and the release of the Transport and Liveability Statement expected in late April. Discussion at this month’s branch meeting focussed on the lobbying efforts of other organisations and the need to ensure that the improved public transport that exists during the games remains particularly on future SmartBus routes such as Stud Road.

Environment Victoria spoke on their campaign efforts, including their focus on public transport within Knox, which includes the need for upgraded bus services, the Knox tram and the Rowville rail line.

The additional bus services provided during the games has demonstrated that additional evening services can be readily provided. Now that these services have finally been committed the government must ensure that they remain. The provision of these additional services after the Games conclude will be a firm test on the seriousness of the State Government’s commitment towards public transport.

Maroondah Leader: Push for progress at station

The Maroondah Leader has this week reported on the continued calls for the State Government to commit the funding necessary to redevelop Ringwood Station into a safe and accessible transport interchange.

The much anticipated Transport and Liveability Statement will include a number of election commitments from the State Government has been silent on the need to redevelop Ringwood Station.

The calls follow reports Ringwood station may not be on the Government’s priority list in its yet-to-be-released transport and liveability statement.

Loughnan’s Hill Ward councillor and Public Transport Users Association branch convener Alex Makin said Ringwood needed a significant boost in public transport services and infrastructure for its Transit City vision to be achieved.

“The design and concept for a new Ringwood station is well advanced; it is now time for the Government to provide a firm funding and timeframe commitment,” he said.

Ringwood Station in its current state fails to comply with accessibility laws (due to the steepness of the existing ramps) and is perceived the be the most unsafe area within Maroondah.

It is imperative that the redevelopment of Ringwood Station is seen as a priority with funding allocated in the upcoming State Budget and the Transport and Liveability Statement.

Community Calls for Station Redevelopment

Media release – Monday, 13 March 2006

Community Calls for Station Redevelopment

Councillor for Loughnan’s Hill Ward and PTUA Branch Convener Alex Makin has called for a firm commitment towards the redevelopment of Ringwood Station and further public transport improvements in Maroondah.

“Ringwood as a transit city requires a significant boost in both public transport services and infrastructure for the vision to be achieved,” PTUA spokesman Alex Makin said. “The design and concept for a new Ringwood Station is well advanced, it is now time for the government to provide a firm funding and timeframe commitment to provide certainty for the community.”

The call to redevelop Ringwood Station comes amid rising speculation that the upcoming Transport and Liveability Statement will include funds for the redevelopment of several stations. Design work on options for Ringwood Station is significantly advanced with plans first being touted in 1999.

“As a councillor for Maroondah and a public transport advocate I personally support the calls by the community to ensure that the redevelopment of Ringwood Station occurs by 2008,” Cr. Makin said. “The Ringwood and Maroondah community has been waiting far too long for a reliable, safe and convenient public transport system. The upcoming Transport and Liveability Statement is the last opportunity for the Government to finally get it right and deliver real improvements.”

The need to redevelop Ringwood Station is viewed as urgent due to the steepness of the station’s ramps which fail to comply with disability access laws. Ringwood Station is perceived as being unsafe and inaccessible with surveys consistency ranking Ringwood Station as the most unsafe location within Maroondah.

“Many residents have mentioned that they would rather spend up to an hour catching a bus from Ringwood to Box Hill to avoid the ramps at Ringwood Station. The Maroondah community includes a significant number of people with disabilities and it therefore clear that our current infrastructure is failing to meet the needs of the community,” Cr. Makin said.

About the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA):
Founded in 1976, the Public Transport Users Association is the recognised consumer organisation representing passengers of public transport. The PTUA is a non-profit, voluntary organisation with no political affiliation, which lobbies governments and public transport authorities in the interest of all users of public transport.

The Age: Bid to keep bonus transport in place

The public transport improvements that will be provided during the Commonwealth Games has demonstrated that the government has the capability to fund service improvements.

The Age has reported on the Public Transport Users Association’s call to ensure that these service improvements remain:

IMPROVED public transport services for the Commonwealth Games are proof that Melburnians can, and should, do much better out of their trains, trams and buses.

The Public Transport Users Association has welcomed the extra 30,000 services.

Bus routes in particular are receiving a significant boost. Many routes, such as the future Stud Road (Ringwood to Frankston) SmartBus and Maroondah Highway, will receive additional services so that they operate well into the late evenings and early morning.

“The Government has demonstrated that it can get its act together to deliver some substantial public transport improvements,” said spokesman Alex Makin. He said the Games-level of transport should be made permanent.

“With frequency improvements during off-peak times for Melbourne’s train, tram and bus network, the Government has shown it has both the capacity and the budget to deliver such improvements,” said Mr Makin.

Now that long promised public transport improvements have been delivered the onus is on the government to ensure that they remain. Maintaining the extended services for buses will ensure that the goal of increasing public transport modal share to 20% by 2020 remains achievable.

PTUA Southeast Branch Ready for Action

Media Release – Tuesday, 7 March 2006

PTUA Southeast Branch Ready for Action

The inaugural meeting for the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) Southeast Branch was deemed an overwhelming success with local residents committed to the lobbying and advocating for better public transport.

“The inaugural meeting of the PTUA’s southeast branch received strong attendance and interest demonstrating that public transport is a key issue for Melbourne’s south east”, PTUA spokesman Alex Makin said. “The commitment demonstrated by residents was overwhelming with many residents eager to get involved.”

The PTUA Southeast Branch held its inaugural meeting on the 7th of March 2006 to provide a local voice for public transport advocates in Melbourne’s southeast.

“Despite being one of Melbourne’s fastest growing urban areas and designating Dandenong as a transit city the State Government has failed to provide adequate public transport for Melbourne’s south east”, Mr. Makin said. “Buses are far too infrequent and mostly do not operate during evenings and weekends and train services beyond Dandenong offer the worst service frequencies within Melbourne.”

The PTUA southeast branch priorities include the lobbying for more frequent and longer operating bus services and more frequent rail services during peak hours and for the Pakenham and Cranbourne lines. The construction of the much-needed station at Lyndhurst was also seen as a key and urgent priority.

“Melbourne’s southeast has missed out on safe, frequent and reliable public transport for far too long. Residents of Toorak and the inner city enjoy public transport through to midnight seven days a week. It is clear that Melbourne’s southeast deserves better”, Mr. Makin said.

“Bus services must receive an urgent funding boost to provide services seven days a week and train services beyond Dandenong must be improved. The new southeast branch will provide a local voice in the call for improved public transport”, Mr. Makin concluded.

The PTUA Southeast Branch will meet monthly on the first Tuesday of each month. For details contact the PTUA on 9650 7898.

About the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA):
Founded in 1976, the PTUA is the recognised consumer organisation representing passengers of public transport. The PTUA is a non-profit, voluntary organisation with no political affiliation, which lobbies governments and public transport authorities in the interest of all users of public transport.