Lake Gardens residents are filthy with Public Transport Victoria’s bus service plan for Ballarat, with the latest proposed catchment set to bypass the densely populated suburb.
PTV’s ongoing revamp of the system, which is designed to streamline bus routes across Ballarat, is still undergoing the finishing touches and is not set in stone.
However, after several consultation sessions and a review of the monthly passenger data, PTV staff have deemed that stops in the Lake Gardens precinct are unnecessary and are proposing that services merely bypass the area.
Many local residents believe this is unsatisfactory and have called for the current service of the suburb to be maintained in the new plan.
“It is a major issue, but not just for the residents,” Lake Gardens Action Group president John O’Sullivan said.
“There are a lot of other various groups that will be disadvantaged.
“They (PTV staff) have said they will not come to Lake Gardens at all and they were promising that people would be no further than 400 metres from a stop.
“If you look up there (down Lake Gardens Avenue), it's well over that. This is a major disservice to the residents.
“With people ageing, they are going to need these services more and more and there are a lot of residents who are ageing, people on wheelchairs and people on walkers.”
In a written response to The Courier, a PTV spokesperson said bypassing the area would shorten trips.
"PTV has consulted extensively with the Ballarat community in shaping the new bus network, to get people where they need to go safer and sooner,” the spokesperson said.
"During this process, we met directly with residents from Lake Gardens to discuss proposals for a new service from Alfredton through to Wendouree Station and Ballarat Central, that travels via Lake Gardens as part of the new network."
"This service will shorten travel times for many passengers, and encourage more people to catch the bus, reducing congestion in Ballarat's rapidly growing west."
Patronage in Lake Garden is typically low, with PTV confirming that only 39 passengers boarded buses in the suburb last month.
However, Mr O’Sullivan said the service is still worth keeping.
“All in all, the bus takes no more than five minutes to go through here. Depending how many times it stops, it might get through in three minutes.
“People use it to get the train at Wendouree Station (and Stockland Wendouree).”