Transport on peninsula scrutinised at forum in Frankston

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Frankston Standard Leader: Transport on peninsula scrutinised at forum in Frankston. Christian Tatman. 16 September 2014

Candidates gathered to discuss local transport issues at a forum in Frankston.

Public transport on the peninsula is a disgrace and makes life tough for the elderly, says Frankston independent candidate Mervyn Vogt.

Mr Vogt, 82, touched a raw nerve with the audience while speaking at a transport forum at Frankston Mechanics Institute last week.

Plans to take Flinders St station off the Frankston line would make travel times longer for peninsula commuters, he said.

Mr Vogt also lambasted the State Government for not listening and not seeking residents’ views on the multi-billion dollar East West Link tunnel project.

Hosted by the Metropolitan Transport Forum and sponsored by Leader Newspapers, the forum featured candidates for Frankston including Labor’s Paul Edbrooke, Liberal’s Sean Armistead and Mr Vogt.

Upper house candidate Nina Springle spoke for the Greens while Frankston state independent MP Geoff Shaw didn’t attend.

Mr Edbrooke said the Coalition had broken promises and failed to deliver on plans to redevelop the Frankston train station precinct.

“East West Link costs too much and does not benefit Frankston,” he said.

Mr Edbrooke said Labor’s plans included removing six level crossings on the Frankston line.

But Mr Armistead said the Coalition was taking a strategic approach with a comprehensive plan to address the road and rail network.

He said protective service officers had made stations safer while services had improved significantly.

Mr Armistead said the East West Link was essential to improving the road network and had been recommended under the Labor-commissioned Rod Eddington report.

“We inherited a failing system and have turned it around,” he said.

Ms Springle said both major parties had let public transport deteriorate.

She said the Greens supported the removal of level crossings and would push for greater cycling infrastructure and better co-ordinated bus services.

Residents told the forum they were fed up with slow train services.

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