BALLARAT to Melbourne commuters are at the mercy of peak-hour traffic for two weeks from Monday as buses replace trains while work is done on the Regional Rail Link.
This will add up to 45 minutes to the trip, so V/Line has advised commuters to aim for a service up to an hour earlier than their regular train.
Public Transport Users Association regional spokesman Paul Westcott said it was pleasing the project was going well, despite planning issues.
“The Regional Rail Link authority has done an excellent job in organising and managing the work and that’s good because the shorter the time is spent on the project, the less money will be spent.”
This round of works is focused on the new tracks between Sunshine and Southern Cross, with some work being done to the tracks coming out of Ballarat station.
Mr Westcott said the rail link plan, which will see a new V/Line-only track put in between Sunshine and Southern Cross, had one enormous flaw.
“The very stupid decision to skip North Melbourne was made early in the project, even though the rails run right past the station,” he said.
“Half of all regional travellers get off to change to the city loop or 401 bus. They’ve never tried to explain it.”