BALLARAT commuters have once again had to deal with late trains, after V/Line failed to meet its punctuality targets for the fifth consecutive month.
Performance results for V/Line show 87.3 per cent of services on the Ballarat line were on time in February, with 65 Ballarat trains delayed during the month.
V/Line’s punctuality target is 92 per cent, with trains up to 5 minutes and 59 seconds late regarded as being on time.
Ballarat West Labor MP Sharon Knight said V/Line had not met its required standard for punctuality since September last year.
“Constant delays play havoc with the lives of commuters. People are late for work, school and university and for appointments because of these delays,” she said. V/Line spokesman James Kelly said a number of incidents outside the direct control of V/Line had adversely affected service punctuality.
“We understand commuter frustration in this regard,” he said.
He added that commuters who held commuter tickets of four weeks or more were entitled to compensation. Affected commuters are invited to visit the V/Line website and make a claim. Mr Kelly said bottlenecks on the metropolitan rail system had contributed to 40 per cent of delays for Ballarat trains.
“Metropolitan congestion remains the biggest reason for delays but the Regional Rail Link project will help to address this issue, with dedicated tracks for Ballarat trains from Sunshine to Southern Cross station.”
Liberal MP for Western Victoria Simon Ramsay said there was room for improvement from V/Line but added that more people were using the service.
“We’ve improved the trains service, that’s been backed by an increase in patronage, but there’s no doubt the Regional Rail Link will help.”
The $4.3 billion Regional Rail Link is slated for completion in 2016.