Front page story in the Hume Leader this week is the Upgrade Upfield campaign with both Hume and Moreland Councils getting behind the campaign. Hume Council endorsed the campaign at their August Council meeting. Moreland Council supported the community campaign in March 2019.
We need the Premier Daniel Andrews and Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan to step up and make track duplication and extension of the Upfield Line a priority transport project.
Residents along the Upfield line have been collecting signatures on a petition for urgant upgrade of the Upfield line with track duplication and calling for extension of the line. Over 3100 signatures on a paper petition have been collected.
A futher 758 signatures have been collected (so far) on a digital petition on the Parliament House legislative Council website. The digital petition will be open for signing until Sunday 8 September. The petition will be tabled in state parliament by Northernn Metro MP Fiona Patten.
New Bus Route 525 from Donnybrook to Craigieburn stations
A secondary story deeper in the newspaper is about a new bus route, Route No 525, that will serve Mickleham, Kalkallo connecting with Donnybrook and Craigieburn stations.
Fantastic that this new route is being put in place but the 60 minute service, 40 minute frequency during peak times, is somewhat underwhelming. Perhaps a 20 minute service would encourage more use of this bus service in an area of expanding residential development.
The route is likely to be from Donnybrook train station via Mickleham before terminating at Craigieburn station, including stops in Merrifield, Cloverton and Trillium estates, and various parks, shops and services across Craigieburn. The bus route will also provide a service to students at Mount Ridley College and Newbury Primary School.
The new Bus Route 525 is proposed to start operating in December. Full route map and timetable is likely to be available in November.
The bus route also indicates a growing demand for public transport for the growing number of residential develpments. It is time for the State Government to be actively planning the extension of the Upfield train line, double track and fully electrified suburban service, to Craigirburn and on through Mickleham, Donneybrook and Wallan.
This extension should be planned and constructed in time for the completion of the metro Rail tunnel in 2025. That is a bare 6 years time to put in place the rail network planning, budget funding and major infrastructure development.