Public Transport Minister says there's always room for improvement

Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder.

Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder.

PUBLIC Transport Minister Terry Mulder admits there is always room for improvement when it comes to V/Line punctuality targets.

During a visit to Bendigo earlier this week, Mr Mulder answered questions from the media about trains on the Bendigo line failing to run on time.

"It's important we understand a couple of things," he said.

"Number one, the 12 months of the former Labor government, 85.6 per cent of V/Line trains on this corridor ran on time.

"In the last 12 months under this government 89 per cent of trains have run on time.

"We've improved it."

Mr Mulder said there had also been a lot of work done to the line.

"That work has involved putting speed restrictions in place and that work has involved replacing thousands of old timber sleepers that should have been replaced as part of the so called fast rail project under the former Labor government," he said.

"We have to lift those timber sleepers up and replace them with concrete sleepers.

"That means you have speed restrictions in place, the trains have to slow down a little while the track is bedding in and that has had an impact.

"But as I say, even with that work being undertaken, we still have produced in a 12 month period, better punctuality that the last 12 months of the former Labor government."

But Mr Mulder admitted there was still room for improvement.

"It could be better and we want to make it better," he said.

"We will make it better by the improvements that we've made and the investments we've made to the line.

"As I say, upgrades to the crossings, new sleepers, new track - those sort of investments make sure we get better reliability, better punctuality.

"But we are making the investment - whether it's in maintenance of the network, asset replacement along the network, PSOs at Bendigo station, regional rail link being delivered ahead of time, ahead of budget, a new station here at Epsom - there's an awful lot happening in this community in terms of investment in public transport."

Mr Mulder was in Bendigo to turn the first sod on the new Epsom Train Station project.

Plans for the new station include a 160-metre platform with shelters, ticketing services, bicycle hoops, a bus stop and parking for 100 cars.

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