BALLARAT trains have run on time for the first time in 12 months, according to the latest V/Line performance figures.
In September, 92.3 per cent of Ballarat train services met the performance target for punctuality.
This is the first time since September 2012 that Ballarat services have met the target of 92 per cent of trains arriving within five minutes and 59 seconds of the scheduled arrival.
Ballarat West MP Sharon Knight said it was unacceptable that just one month in 12 was above the punctuality target.
“One of the biggest things is that when in opposition, (the Coalition) said they would make the trains run on time,” she said.
“I will acknowledge a small amount of those times can be attributed to work on the regional rail link, but that doesn’t account for the consistency that has occurred.”
Ms Knight said the government had extended the time to Melbourne for most services on the timetable, but still failed to regularly achieve performance targets.
“The Liberal government has made the train journey as much as nine minutes longer for peak commuters and still only just managed to meet the target,” she said.
“Adding almost one and a half hours per week to the travelling time for many commuters has finally paid off for Premier (Denis) Napthine.
“The trains were improving when we were in government.”
Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said the main cause of delays on the Ballarat line remained congestion in the metropolitan network, which accounted for 25 per cent of delays.
“The delivery of the Regional Rail Link by the Coalition government will provide a dedicated track for regional trains and remove the bottlenecks in the metropolitan area,” he said.
“The last timetable change actually saw V/Line add two extra services to the Ballarat line – a morning peak train from Bacchus Marsh, servicing Melton, and an extra afternoon train to Melton.
“Timetables are updated regularly to reflect realistic travel times and with the network busier than ever, V/Line ensures the timetable reflects the real journey time.
“Customers want certainty when travelling – and this can mean both extending and reducing travel times.”