Wimmera coach services receive a boost

Posted Wednesday 4 July, 04:45pm

Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan has announced Wimmera public transport users will have better connections and more travel choices from September, with new coach services being added between Ararat, Horsham and Ouyen.

Caption: Cr Tony Driscoll (Northern Grampians Shire Council Mayor), Cr Mary-Ann Brown (Southern Grampians Shire Council Mayor), Cr Gwenda Allgood (Ararat Rural City Council Mayor), Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan, Sarah De Santis (Labor Candidate for Ripon) and Cr Pam Clarke (Horsham Rural City Council Mayor).

Minister Allan was in Ararat to announce the additional coach services, which will better connect towns in the Wimmera and improve connections with trains to Melbourne.

From September 30, 2018, two extra coach services will be added between Horsham and Ararat on weekdays, as well as a new service from Dimboola to Ararat, via Horsham. The Friday night coach from Ararat to Ouyen will be reinstated.

The Horsham to Ararat coach runs via Dadwells Bridge, Stawell and Great Western. The coach from Ararat to Dimboola follows the same route to Horsham then continues to Dimboola via Pimpinio.

“We’ve heard from Wimmera locals that they want more public transport - these new services will give more options and better connections,” Minister Allen said.

“These extra coach services will get locals and tourists where they need to go, at the times they need to travel.

“We’re dedicated to improving rail services throughout Victoria, which is why we’re delivering infrastructure upgrades to enable more frequent services for passengers.”

These new services complement the newly-announced $130 million Freight-Passenger Rail Separation Project, which will also deliver benefits for Ararat passengers.

The Project will enable a fifth train service for Ararat by extending the stabling facilities at Ararat Station.

It will also benefit Ararat trains travelling through the Ballarat Station precinct, as it will untangle this section to create more paths for passenger and freight lines into the future.

The Freight-Passenger Rail Separation Project includes signalling upgrades, track duplication and replacing the Armstrong Street bridge in Ballarat. This will allow two tracks to be built under the new bridge, getting rid of the existing bottleneck and creating more space for trains to pass each other.

Passenger information and timetables for Horsham, Ararat and Ouyen services will be available from late August 2018 at V/Line stations and www.ptv.vic.gov.au.