Thursday, January 6, 2011

Public Transport to, from and around Dunolly (or insert country town of choice in this picture)

Ok, ok, ok, you can stop laughing now.
Yes, there is a bare minimum of public transport - in the form of road coaches - to gain access to the sweet Central Victorian town of Dunolly.
Now, should we decide to ever park our arses there on a more permanent basis we'd have to learn how to fly or cycle 23 kms in to Maryborough as the only 'public transport'  - that doesn't involve booking on one of the inconveniently timetabled long distance road coaches for short trips - is a community bus that trundles out from Maryborough on Fridays and does the circuit of collecting all the bods from around the towns, then trundles back into Maryborough where the bods can scurry about to do their shopping/keep appointments/shoot the hairdresser who screwed up the blue rinse do last week before leaping back on the bus for the return trip home again.
And then nothing til the following Friday.
Like I said, we either start sprouting wings or start long-distance cycling.
I have been engaging the Dept of Transport in email discussions of reinstating the rail services to Dunolly.
Why, yes, I am slightly cracked....why do you ask...?
I pointed out that wheelchair access is not available on all buses, to which I was told there is but that I have to make a special booking through V/Line head office.
This the first we've heard of this after months of travel!
But, the private company which does the Bendigo to Dunolly leg states on their website not all of their buses are wheelchair accessible nor have any of the drivers pointed out a hydraulic lift to myself as I struggled to get Dad up the steps and onto the bus.
Not to mention the replacement buses from Bendigo to So Cross station - for when the train has been unable to be used owing to the land slips at Riddles Creek - were definitely not wheelchair friendly, plus were double decker nightmares for Dad to get onboard.
So, wasn't the previous State Govt rolling out all the bells and whistles for decentralisation and setting up all the services in regional areas at one point?
Surely that involved, somewhere along the line, putting in some decent public transport scheme?
Maryborough is only 23 kms away, the rail line is still used for freight, the Dunolly Railway Station platform only needs a little tidy up so......?
Yep, I'm probably tilting at windmills but if we have to fight to get a basic bus with wheelchair access in 2011 or more than a once-per-week community bus for several thousand residents while a perfectly good railway line and station sits idle there is something seriously screwed with this picture.


  1. This post made me think about NZ road buses (the ex railway buses) between towns. They don't have disabled access, I've never seen an InterCity bus that does. Almost all involve a mountainous climb up steps to get inside of varying degrees of height. Checking the site, they allow the carriage of folding wheelchairs, but not electric ones. Odds on, they'd be stowed in the hold. Here's hoping my legs don't get buggered as I get older ...

    One of the last buses I was on, the driver had a full passenger listring, and so got quite concerned when a family wanted to take their bubby on board in a carry-cot. They managed to do so, but only just.

  2. Shake 'em up Jayne. A friend who lives in a similar country town where the trains still passes through the closed railways station gets better service by the sound of it than Dunolly, and it is smaller.

  3. Jayne, Yeah, keep after the govt officials -- they always say they want to know what the citizenry thinks. Or do they? Speaking of the U.S. of course.

    Jayne, thanks so much for the link on my afghan post -- I hope you will give me permission to add it as an addendum to my post with credit to you of course? Please let me know.

    -- barbara

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  5. *nods at Lisa*
    Yep, I know what you mean, overcrowded buses not coping with commuters, their goods or even wheelchairs.
    And we're told these are sufficient replacement for trains.
    *rolls eyes*

    It's just stupidity and the great god, The Dollar Sign.
    Plus laziness.

    No worries, Barbara, use the link all you like, it's not actually my link, just one I found through Goolge :)