Spring Gully bus users upset at proposed changes

Bendigo Retirement Village residents and other local residents are unhappy about changes to their bus route. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Retirement Village residents and other local residents are unhappy about changes to their bus route. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

RELATED: Commuters have their say on proposed bus routes

RESIDENTS at Bendigo Retirement Village are angry at proposed changes to the bus route in Spring Gully.

Their existing 15-minute bus trip into town could blow out to 45 minutes in traffic, they claim.

Changes to the route put forward by Public Transport Victoria in December will see the number 12 bus route take a less direct route into Bendigo's central business district, with buses going via Strath Village and La Trobe University.

PTV's public consultation period for proposed changes to Bendigo's bus network ended on December 22.

Village resident Shirley Ward said there were a lot of unanswered questions about the proposed changes among her fellow residents, who were less independently mobile in their twilight years.

"It’s the biggest thing giving up your car, if you get the bus you want an adequate service," she said.

She said she understood changes to the route would mean the need for additional bus services to Bendigo hospital, a frequent destination for some.

One resident, Noel Dean, said he travelled into town every day and to Bendigo hospital twice a week. 

"The number 12 bus takes me direct to Bendigo Hospital where I go twice a week for treatment, I don't have to change buses," he said.

"I’m not a tourist, I don’t want to see the rest of Bendigo.

"With the new bus routes, I'll have to change to three separate buses to get to the hospital."

Multiple residents said they were particularly puzzled about why the proposed route had the bus travelling on such an indirect path into town.

Geraldine Mitchell said she was a "frequent flyer" on the Spring Gully bus route into town and did not want the additional travel time that would accompany the new route.

"For older people to go three quarters of an hour for people to get somewhere, and three quarters of an hour to get back home, that's two hours more out of your day to get your shopping done and you're getting tired," she said.

A City of Greater Bendigo representative said on Friday PTV was responsible for the bus service in Bendigo and for the proposed changes.

"PTV will be meeting with the council next week to discuss any changes they are making in response to their community consultation program," the spokesperson said.

A PTV spokesperson said while the final route or timetable was not yet determined, a bus trip from Spring Gully into the city was planned to be "less than 30 minutes". 

The spokesperson said until finalised, it was not possible to confirm if the route would continue onto Bendigo Hospital as another route. 

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