GREG'S LEGACY

Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

Public Transport to the King Valley

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For the last sixty years, there has been no public transport to the King Valley. The nearest services have been fifty kilometres away at Benalla or Wangaratta

In the 19th century, horse drawn public transport to the King Valley was provided. From the turn of the twentieth century to the 1950’s , a narrow gauge railway service was operated.

On 14 November 2005, the State Government unveiled Moving Forward, the Bracks Government’s $502 million action plan for growth in Provincial Victoria.

“Moving Forward will help attract people, jobs and investment to Provincial Victoria, deliver infrastructure and skills, support small towns and work with local councils to manage growth and quality of life,” Mr Brumby said.

TRANSPORT Minister Peter Batchelor has specified additional bus services for residents of the King Valley. Residents of Moyhu, Edi, Whitfield, Oxley and Milawa will benefit from a new tailored tri-weekly service as part of the Bracks government’s King and Ovens Valley Transport Connections Program.

Since then, there has been no further news of the proposed bus service. I would have thought there would have been some consultation with the affected communities by now.

Whilst a meeting between O&K Community Health, the RCow and the Department of Infrastructure will be held in the near future to establish the status of the project, there still appears to be no opportunity for the community to make a contribution.

What sort of a tri-weekly service will we get? Will it be a token service with one of the school buses running during school hours, or will it be a commuter service to take people to and from work?

The best option would be a circuit bus route from Whitfield – Mansfield – Benalla – Wangaratta. This would be the most commercially feasible as it services a much wider passenger catchment and gives the King Valley and Mansfield residents access to services not otherwise available.

With the ever increasing cost of petrol, a commuter service would be well supported allowing King Valley residents to save money going to work or spending the day in town shopping. Anything less will fail.

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Written by Greg Naylor

27 February 2006 at 6:10 am

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