ELDERLY residents living in retirement centres four kilometres from central Mornington say they have been left stranded by the lack of public transport.
In the lead up to the November state election, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council has increased its pressure on the state government to increase public transport services on the peninsula.
But resident Don Robinson, who lives at Beleura Village in Bungower Road, said he and others at the nearby Australian Unity centre in Racecourse Road felt nobody had been listening after campaigning for years for a bus service to Frankston and Mornington.
In 2019 Mornington MP David Morris tabled a 472-signature petition in parliament calling for better bus services in the Mornington north – Bungower Road area.
He told parliament that bus services in the area had not changed since the area was “a sea of paddocks”.
“There were no services then and there are none now. The area has been completely ignored by public transport planners and by the government,” Morris said. Despite Morris’s call, nothing had changed.
“There are two aged care villages in this area, Beleura Village in Bungower Road and nearby Australian Unity in Racecourse Road, but not one bus that services us, and around 1000 residents,” he said.
“There are two buses that pass the area, and surely one of them could be diverted to access the villages. It’s a simple solution.”
Robinson said the nearest bus stop was in Robertson Drive, which was too far for most of the elderly residents to walk.
“We are tired of nothing being done and now want answers,” he said.
Department of Transport executive director modal planning Stuart Johns gave no indication of immediate plans for an extended Mornington bus services but said the bus network was continually being reviewed to identify where improvements could be made, including on the peninsula.
“We know that public transport provides important connections to employment, education and recreational activities, and we welcome any feedback from the community on our bus services,” Johns said.
He said the requests from residents in Mornington about bus services in the area had been heard and would be considered as part of ongoing reviews of the bus network.
In June 2021, the state government released Victoria’s Bus Plan which sets out how it will start to deliver a “modern, productive and sustainable bus network” that allows increased patronage.