Rail line to Langy call

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A PLEDGE by the state government to run “more trains, more often” along the Frankston line has been welcomed by a regional advocacy group but there is also a call for the rail line to be extended to Langwarrin.

Victorian Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan visited Frankston late last month to officially open a drop-in information hub about the Skye Rd/Overton Rd level crossing removals.

The Transport Minister said the separation of road from rail at 13 level crossings on the Frankston line will ease congestion for commuters.

“This project is not only about removing yet another dangerous and congested level crossing, but will also allow us to run more trains, more often along the Frankston line,” Ms Allan said in a statement.

Ms Allan also attended a Committee for Greater Frankston lunch at the Peninsula Aquatic Recreation Centre on the same day (Wednesday 25 October).

The group hosts business lunches, open to all, with guest speakers with any money raised over and above lunch costs invested in the operations of the Committee for Greater Frankston.

Committee for Greater Frankston president Fred Harrison, CEO of Ritchies Supermarkets, welcomed the Labor state government’s investment of $63 million into a redevelopment of Frankston train station and its surrounds but urged Ms Allan to consider reopening a station at Langwarrin “to connect Frankston people with the jobs they deserve”.

“The population of the greater Frankston region is predicted to increase by 50 per cent over the next 30 years. But job growth lags well behind. Our area has fewer than 28 local jobs per 100 residents,” Mr Harrison said at the lunch.

“We need to bring more jobs into our economy, and we need to better connect our workers with jobs outside our area. Bus access to Frankston station is woeful. If you’re serious about getting people out of their cars and onto the Frankston train line, more commuter parking will be needed.

“The electrification of the train line to Langwarrin will provide ample opportunities for car parking at Langwarrin. In addition, it will better connect young professionals moving to Karingal and other fast-growing suburbs in our region with jobs right up the train line.”

Ms Allan said at the lunch that the Labor state government is focused on prioritising a $2 billion upgrade of the Frankston line at this stage.

The level crossings information hub at the corner of Skye Rd and Farrell St opened by the Transport Minister last month was built by young people “facing barriers to education or employment” as part of a TRY Build social enterprise project helping the unemployed learn new skills.

First published in the Frankston Times – 6 November 2017

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