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Coach Services Ready for Boost

19 April

Coach services in Western Victoria will be significantly improved as part of a passenger services feasibility study launched last week say Horsham and Southern Grampians Mayors, Cr Pam Clarke and Cr Mary-Ann Brown.

Commissioned by eight western Victorian Councils, the report recommends a new daily road coach service between Horsham and Hamilton via Balmoral and Cavendish, coordinated with Hamilton to Portland services. It also recommends better coach connections including weekend and public holiday services to key tourist destinations including the Grampians, Little Desert, and Pyrenees wine region.

Cr Brown said improvements to coach services were a significant first step towards the long-term goals of the passenger services study.

“The coach service improvements are an exciting part of the strategy and many of them can happen reasonably quickly,” Cr Brown said.

“If we can increase the coach services as outlined in the strategy, this will fit in with the long-term goal to improve connections between road and rail services. The flow on effects for the community, businesses and tourism will be significant.”
Mayor of Horsham Rural City Council, Cr Pam Clarke, said the recommendations would open a world of possibilities for the region.

“We’re very pleased to see a recommendation to allow commuters to take bikes on V/Line coach services. Cycling tourism is becoming increasingly popular and we want to make sure we embrace that trend,” Cr Clarke said.

“It will also be great to see improvements to road coach hubs to provide better waiting, boarding, lighting, and transfer conditions for passengers.”

Other recommendations for coach service improvements include:
• New weekend services to Casterton and Mount Gambier
• Coach service improvements for Balmoral, Cavendish, Coleraine, Dunkeld and Lake Bolac
• Tourist-friendly coach schedules to enable more public transport-based holiday makers to visit attractions, leading to an increase in business opportunities for accommodation and tourism businesses
• An extra mid-morning and mid-afternoon return service between Hamilton and Ballarat daily
• Improved timetabling to better link with train services

A copy of the study can be found via the Horsham Rural City Council, Southern Grampians Shire Council, and Ararat Rural City Council websites. Alternatively, hard copies are available from all eight participating Councils upon request.

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