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Shepparton residents called to voice rail frustrations

City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Jenny Houlihan has called on the region's residents to make their feelings known on the city's passenger train service.

JARROD WHITTAKER March 24, 2014 4:32am

Shepparton residents are being asked to voice their dissatisfaction with the region’s rail services at a public meeting with Victoria’s Public Transport Ombudsman this week.

The ombudsman will attend a public transport forum at Greater Shepparton City Council’s Welsford St offices on Wednesday.

V/Line and Public Transport Victoria staff will also be in attendance.

City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Jenny Houlihan said it was important as many people as possible attended.

‘‘This gives people an opportunity to air their stories, their personal problems they’ve had with the rail system,’’ Cr Houlihan said.

‘‘Therefore it’s extremely vital we get a good representation of people, not only from Greater Shepparton, but anyone from surrounding municipalities who use the train service from here.’’

The ombudsman is an independent dispute resolution service, which operates independent of public transport consumers, operators and the Victorian Government.

Council is also conducting a survey of public transport users’ experiences accessing services from Shepparton.

Shepparton is serviced by three daily return services on weekdays, and two on weekends.

Meanwhile, Bendigo is serviced by 18 return services on weekdays and Ballarat 16.

The forum has been organised as part of council’s Make Shepparton Greater campaign, which aims to lobby the Victorian Government for funding ahead of November’s state election.

As part of the campaign, council has identified five priority infrastructure projects for funding.

They are improved passenger rail services, redevelopment of Goulburn Valley Base Hospital, Shepparton bypass, the redevelopment of the central business district and a new Shepparton courthouse.

Cr Houlihan said she hoped groups impacted by limited rail services would share their experiences at the forum.

She said people with disabilities, the business community, students and tourism operators had been hit hard by limited train services.

The public transport forum will be held at council’s Welsford St offices on Wednesday from 10am to noon.

Surveys will be available on the day or can be completed by visiting or at the News office on Melbourne Rd.

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