Growth groan – Riddell rail under pressure

Train users are feeling the squeeze of Riddells Creek’s service as commuters from outside the town descend to take advantage of cheaper fares, and service pressure is about to increase.
It’s not uncommon for Gisborne, Macedon and Mount Macedon commuters to board at Riddells Creek to slash their fare, but impending population growth for the town means locals want services and amenities now to match the trends.
Regular users like Riddells Creek local Tom Morely say peak services are packed with people fighting for seats and there is pressure on station parking.
“Peak train services are usually beyond full by the time they get to Riddells Creek,” Mr Morely said.
“We really need more services to carry the volume of passengers and more car parking at Riddells Creek.”
On the Bendigo to Melbourne line, Riddells Creek is the first stop heading to Melbourne that allows commuters a zone 1+2 fare. Gisborne, five minutes earlier on the line, is zone 1-3 with a much heftier fare.
Gisborne commuters to Melbourne pay $24.40 (daily fare) during peak periods compared to $9 from Riddells Creek, according to PTV’s commuter fare calculator.
In travelling just 8km further by road to Riddells Creek, Gisborne commuters can avoid the $15.40 difference.
Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas secured commitment of additional 50 parking spaces at the train station through the state government’s Car Parks for Commuters fund at the last state election.
At the time she acknowledged Riddells Creek was “one of the busiest stations” in her electorate with parking full and beginning to impact on local shoppers and businesses.
It’s no surprise transport/roads and infrastructure are among the top concerns of Riddells Creek residents with progression of a potential 1290-lot development of 130 hectares at Amess Road.
The draft precinct structure plan for this project acknowledges Riddells Creek will grow into a district town by 2036.
The PSP will include a traffic and transport technical report which considers walking, cycling, motor vehicles and public transport, but increasing the number of trains stopping at the railway station falls to the Department of Transport.
Last week, Ms Thomas confirmed the state government was “making sure the transport network meets the needs of our growing communities” by delivering transport upgrades across the region.
“We’ve added more bus services, across more days, with better connections with trains, and a huge program of road upgrades is currently rolling out across the region,” Ms Thomas said.
“We’ll continue to work closely with the community, operators and councils to ensure we’re delivering and planning for the region’s future transport needs.”

One thought on “Growth groan – Riddell rail under pressure

  • March 10, 2020 at 8:41 pm
    Permalink

    Just “close the gap“ (in cost between Riddells Creek and other stations)

    Reply

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