Posted on 15. Aug, 2012 in News

The Liberal Government’s failure to invest in public transport is set to cause greater overcrowding on Melbourne’s train system, Shadow Minister for Public Transport Fiona Richardson said today.

Ms Richardson said that road users will also suffer as a result of the Liberal’s neglect of the public transport system as commuters return to their cars to escape overcrowded, delayed and unreliable trains.

Ms Richardson said the Metro Trains Strategic Operations Plan 2012-2017, obtained through Freedom of Information, confirmed that commuters are being squeezed like sardines onto trains while the Liberal Government continues to neglect and ignore public transport.

The Metro plan outlines current problems with the network including a shortage of rolling stock, major line congestion, an urgent need for infrastructure upgrades, overcrowded trains and a lack of drivers.

“These documents put a lie to the claims made by Liberal Transport Minister Terry Mulder last year that he has fixed Victoria’s transport network,” Ms Richardson said.

“It shows that the significant drop in investment under the Liberals is now impacting commuters and motorists across Victoria.

“People who drive to work will also feel the sting from the Liberal’s failure to tackle fixing the public transport network as frustrated commuters return to their cars, adding to already severe peak hour congestion.

“Instead of investing in improving Victoria’s public transport network, the Liberal Government has relied on spin, band aid solutions and denials to try and hide the fact that the public transport system is getting worse on their watch.

“Squeezing people on to trains like sardines is not a long term solution to fixing Melbourne’s transport system and will simply force more commuters back onto the road,” she said.

Ms Richardson said the documents showed that Werribee, Sydenham and Dandenong lines suffer the worst overcrowding and congestion across the network and will only get worse if the Liberal government continues to under invest.

“This report clearly shows that the Liberal Government have failed to invest in Victoria’s train network,” she said.

“The Liberal Government can no longer ignore the needs of the transport system and must detail how and when they will deliver what is required to fix the network.”

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