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788 Buses – Extra Services Needed Now

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Mr MORRIS (Mornington) (17:20:24): (416)

I raise a matter this evening for the Minister for Public Transport.

The action I seek from the minister is that she agree to the provision of an additional bus service, on the 788 route, to run in scheduling terms just immediately after the current 7.50 a.m. service southbound from Frankston.

I have spoken on many occasions in this house about the impact of population growth on the Mornington Peninsula and drawn the contrast between the expansion of the metropolis into greenfield sites and the provision of new services, and we all know they do not always keep up with the pace.

But the difference between that type of population growth and an established area like the Peninsula, and in particular Mornington is that, because those areas already have existing services, they are rarely expanded to accommodate the additional demands that are placed upon them. Certainly there was a bus service review in 2008, and there were some infrastructure improvements and service improvements proposed.

I am pleased to say that under the Baillieu-Napthine governments the infrastructure improvements including the bus interchange in Mornington itself were in fact implemented, but unfortunately with Labor in power for 16 of the last 20 years we have not had improvements in the services to keep pace with the demands that are being placed upon them.

Beyond the general issue of public transport services, the specific issue is the 788 bus service.

There is a great degree of congestion on the southbound service in the morning and the northbound service in the afternoon, and it has become a particular problem at school times, particularly for students travelling beyond Mornington—hence the reference to the 788 service, which goes beyond the Mornington area. It is worse in the mornings, but it is a problem in the afternoons as well.

We are not talking about a shortage of seats or a bit of squashing up; we are talking about large number of students who are being left behind.

I have spoken to schools about this and I have spoken to Ventura Bus Lines about it, and they both agreed that while overcrowding is often a problem at the start of the year, this year it just has not backed off. Ventura have advised me that they are now in a position subject to government agreement to provide an additional service, which would be designated the 788S, and that would largely solve the problem.

Such a service would of course benefit not just the electorate of Mornington but also the electorate of Frankston and the electorate of Nepean as it travels south through Rosebud.

So I seek the assistance of the minister in authorising the provision of this additional service on the route. It is long overdue, and I urge the minister to support it.