V/Line train replacement may affect tourism over holidays but commuters are not fazed

BALLARAT commuters aren’t fazed about coaches replacing V/Line trains between Ballarat and Melbourne, which comes into effect today for the next month.

The timetable change comes as the West Gate Bridge and Domain and Burnley tunnels in Melbourne will also close for maintenance work, leaving Ballarat commuters with limited transport options into the new year. 

Coaches will replace trains between Melbourne and Ballarat/Wendouree stations from December 28 to January 19, 2014.

Trains will continue to run between Ballarat and Ararat/Maryborough. 

The replacement of services allows for construction on the multibillion-dollar Regional Rail Link.

But regular commuters at Ballarat train station weren’t too concerned about the disruptions. 

“It’s not going to affect us too much,” commuter James Smith said. 

“People have been aware of this for a while, they should make alternate arrangements.” 

But commuter AJ Holden, travelling from Ballarat to Melbourne, was surprised by the news. 

“It will be inconvenient for the families travelling to and from Ballarat during the holidays,” Mr Holden said. 

“It won’t do wonders for tourism during the holidays.” 

Public Transport Users Association regional spokesman Paul Westcott said commuters weren’t too concerned about the disruptions. 

“I think people are put off by travelling on (replacement buses) ... which ultimately results in longer travel times,” Mr Westcott said. 

“But if they are promised improvement to the services, in the short term, then they will be understanding.”

CLOSURE TIMES

• Domain Tunnel: closed until 5am December 31. 

• West Gate Bridge (inbound)- closed last night from 11pm. Reopens today at 7am.

• West Gate Bridge (outbound)- closed 11pm- 7am between January 2 and 3. 

• Burnley Tunnel: closed 10pm January 2 until 5am January 7.

kara.irving@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop