Ballarat residents miss out: no services returning from Melbourne after midnight on New Years Eve

COMMUTERS thinking of heading to Melbourne today to welcome in 2014 will have to stay in the city overnight, with the last coach service leaving Southern Cross at 11.24pm. 

While no extra services to accommodate revellers who want to see the final fireworks display will be added, V/Line did say it will monitor the situation to see if changes would be made next year. 

One Melton commuter directed his unhappiness with the lack of service at the V/Line Ballarat Twitter account yesterday. 

In an interview with The Courier, Russell Mulry said he had planned to go to Melbourne to watch the fireworks, however, with no way of getting home, he would have to stay out of the city. 

“With the lack of trains for the Ballarat line, it has wrecked my plans to go into the city and see in 2014,” Mr Mulry said.

“The government always says they want us to catch public transport to big events like New Year’s Eve celebrations, but how can we when we can’t get home because V/Line didn’t put on more services?” 

Train, which are currently running as coaches, will run to a Friday schedule today. 

“This ensures families who have come into Melbourne to see the earlier fireworks can get home,” V/Line spokesperson Clare Steele said. 

“Traditionally, we do not have great demand for a later service, with around 100 people travelling on that last service to Ballarat line in 2012 and 2011.

“We do though monitor patronage and look at customer feedback and will continue to assess what services we need in the coming years.”

V/Line have been adding extra services during the week to help get commuters home from the Big Bash League cricket matches which are occurring in the city. 

Ballarat provides no fireworks entertainment for locals, meaning many residents head to Melbourne in search of the city’s explosive display. 

Ms Steele reminded commuters it was free to travel after 6pm today.

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