Group investigates train changes

A new group is giving Sunbury commuters a chance to have a say about controversial changes to train timetables.

Sunbury Train Association (STA) formed in response to changes aimed at eventually stopping residents catching Bendigo-bound V/Line trains.

To promote their case for better train services, STA is collating views about the impact of this Public Transport Victoria (PTV) decision.

Spokeswoman Melissa Limb said STA wanted to hear from all sides of the debate.

The group, which hopes to collect at least 500 responses, will present its findings to PTV and Sunbury Labor MP Josh Bull.

‘‘We’re asking members of the community what they want from PTV in regards to the trains,’’ Ms Limb said. ‘‘Whether that’s eventual reinstatement of access to V/Line services or better provision of Metro services, we just want to know what people think.’’

As reported by Star Weekly, restrictions barring Sunbury commuters from V/Line trains will not be enforced until next January.

The town will receive 10 extra peak-time Metro services a week, with the state government promising to investigate extra off-peak services. Until now, Sunbury has received about half of the services that travelled to Watergardens.

An online STA survey launched last week asks commuters when and where they catch trains and provides an opportunity for them to rate Metro trains for frequency, safety, reliability and speed.

Participants can also share information about how the changes could impact on school pick-ups, work and education commitments and access for people with a disability.

STA is considering letterbox drops and is seeking permission to survey commuters at Sunbury station.

Ms Limb said the group wanted to provide a balanced platform to ensure an accurate representation of views.

“We’re in agreement that we need more services one way or another, but certainly the survey is going to give us what the community wants,” she said.

A separate online petition calling for V/Line access until services are adequately replaced by Metro trains already has almost 1500 signatures. Another effort spearheaded by Western Metropolitan Liberal MP Bernie Finn has 100 supporters.

To complete the STA survey, visit