Drive for better buses


By Oliver Lees

A lack of public transport between Sunbury and the Melbourne Airport remains an ongoing problem, as more and more staff and travellers are expected with international travel back on the cards.

As it stands, the first bus departs from Sunbury Station en route to Melbourne Airport at 6.40am, while the last service departs at 7.40pm.

This service runs hourly between those times, but there is no public transport option for staff or travellers overnight.

On weekends, only two services (one at 9.30am and one at 4.30pm) depart Sunbury for the airport.

In June this year, Hume councillor Jack Medcraft requested that council write to Public Transport Minister Ben Carroll to investigate a Smart Bus from Melbourne Airport to Sunbury and Diggers Rest.

Cr Medcraft said with about 30 per cent of the airport’s staff coming from Sunbury, it was common sense to provide more options for them to get work.

“There has to be a more regular service … if you’re going to have a Sky Bus that goes to the airport [from Chelsea], why not come to Sunbury?” Cr Medcraft said.

Public Transport Users Association spokesperson Daniel Bowen said it had been an issue for a long time.

“It would really make a lot of sense to fund extra bus services and longer hours to give that option, it makes sense,” Mr Bowen said.

“There have been improvements from the east coming from Broadmeadows and Epping… [but] a lot of other nearby suburbs, operating hours and frequency are quite poor.”

Sunbury Residents Association president Graham Williams said the more public transport the better, as it would help take the pressure off of Sunbury’s congested roads.

A Department of Transport spokesperson said the government is currently exploring better transport options from Sunbury to Melbourne Airport.

“We are working closely with the community to ensure the public transport network is more accessible and better connected,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the current timetable was made to reflect demand for services.