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Updated Friday, 7 August, 2015 by www.elliottmidnews.com.au
Bendigo line train commuters have been told to get along and join forces to lobby for more V/Line trains.
In a message that disregarded the value of Sunbury's Metro service, state opposition spokesperson Bernie Finn said there was a solution to the Sunbury trains dispute to satisfy both Macedon Ranges and Sunbury passengers.
"The only way it seems to me to is get more V/Line trains and it's up to the government to provide that," he said.
"There's no room for intimidation (between Macedon Ranges and Sunbury passengers), there's no room for any of that sort of nonsense, that's not going to solve anything. We've all got to live together and travel together."
Like many Sunbury commuters, Mr Finn said the introduction of Metro trains had left a bitter taste.
"We were promised when the electrification occurred, without consultation, ... that we would have both Metro trains and V/Line trains. The current government is breaking that promise and we ain't happy about it.
"We didn't need the electrification, we needed more trains. We should have gotten more trains. That would have serviced the entire Bendigo line not just Sunbury."
The long-running Sunbury trains debate was recently reignited when Public Transport Victoria introduced a new timetable barring Sunbury commuters from V/Line trains to help ease passenger congestion on V/Line. It was proposed that from June 21, passengers using Sunbury Station would only be allowed to board Metro services. But a week later, public backlash from Sunbury forced PTV to stall the plan and give commuters a six-month grace period to adjust to the changes.
Last week, Labor member for Sunbury Josh Bull responded to the matter with two extra Metro services for Sunbury and a hint at more to come.
Mr Bull announced that from next Monday, two peak-hour Watergardens services would be extended to Sunbury.
He said he was fighting hard for more Sunbury metropolitan services to boost capacity, in light of recent changes to V/Line's regional train policy.
"I've listened to locals and fought hard for more metropolitan train services for Sunbury," he said.
"I am also working with the Sunbury Train Association who are surveying local residents on what they would like to see in Sunbury. This is important work that will help form the long-term plan for train services in Sunbury."
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