Pressure is mounting on the state government to reveal its plans for the Caroline Springs Station.
Western Victoria MP Joshua Morris this week in Parliament asked Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan to give local commuters a clear indication of whether or not Ballarat trains would be stopping at the station after it opens early next year.
Ms Allan has so far remained silent on which whether or not Ballarat to Melbourne or Bacchus Marsh to Melbourne trains would stop at Caroline Springs.
Early estimations suggest the station could feed 1500 commuters daily onto the line, which V/Line’s annual report in October said experienced a 12 per cent increase in 2016.
Mr Morris said commuters deserve to know the government’s plan for the line.
“My constituency question is to the Minister for Public Transport,” he said in Parliament on Tuesday.
“Will Ballarat V/Line services be stopping at the new Caroline Springs station when it comes online next year? Ballarat commuters have had to suffer through Labor’s rail fail since June 2015, and Ballarat commuters should know about the minister’s plans for the Caroline Springs station.
“The Ballarat service certainly has grown in terms of the number of passengers, and as a result of this many passengers have quite uncomfortable trips on the Ballarat service, both to and from work.
“If the Caroline Springs station were to be added as a further stop, these concerns and the congestion would only be increased by the number of passengers expected to be utilising the Caroline Springs station. I certainly expect that the minister will provide some certainty to Ballarat commuters.”
Commuters are beginning to fear the worst for their future on the line and demand they are given a basic indication on the prospects for Ballarat to Melbourne services.
Regular commuter Joseph van Dyk last week said he was “extremely concerned” about the potential implications of yet another station opening on an increasingly congested and overburdened line.
“Ballarat commuters are seeking the Transport Minister Jacinta Allan or (Wendouree MP) Sharon Knight to confirm that our trains won't be stopping at Caroline Springs,” Mr van Dyk said.
Ms Allan still wouldn’t commit to an answer when contacted by The Courier on Friday.
"The former Liberal and National government's failure to order a single new regional carriage for two years, start any major public transport projects and rip $100 million out of V/Line hurt Ballarat passengers and left them stranded on crowded trains,” she said.
"We're still working on final details of the new regional timetable, which will be announced in the coming weeks."
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