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The government substituted its 1999 promise to build a rail extension
with a $1 million per year Route 571 Trainlink bus service which commenced
on the 08 December 2003 operating between the Epping Railway station and
the Plenty Valley Town Centre Shops in MacDonalds Road opposite the City
of Whittlesea Council Chambers.
In December 2004 the Friends of South Morang Inc conducted a 12 months review of this service and found the following inadequacies:
The bus does not meet every train at Epping station as promised.
Less then 6 pasengers per trip use the service.
The bus is often late because of the 40km school zone outside Epping Secondary College.
Whilst low floor buses are available, none of the bus stops comply with the Disability Discrimination Act of 1992.
Only 6 of the 49 stops have timetables on display.
There is confusion over which part of the 571 route is actually the Trainlink section.
The service is slow, taking 20 minutes from South Morang to Epping station, a distance of around 6 kms.
There is no pedestrian crossing access from Mill Park Lakes estate to the stop at the Plenty Valley Town Centre shops.
There are more services on Saturdays than weekdays when there are more connecting trains.
The last weekday bus leaves the Northern Hospital one hour before visiting hours close.
The whole service is unreliable, under patronised, costly to run and is no substitute for the rail extension.
Deutsche Bank and Westfield have a multi-million dollar investment planned for the South Morang Activity Centre known as Plenty Valley Town Centre and the community needs the state government to commit to building the rail extension and the rail station immediately.
In the May 2004 State Budget, the government did not allocate any funding for the rail extension for the 5th year in a row since it made it's promise to the electorate. The Alliance will not let the matter rest. You, as a visitor to this site, need to have your say.