RACV calls for free travel in April construction blitz

Moving Well | RACV | Posted on 27 February 2019

More than 1.5 million rail commuters to be affected.

RACV is calling for free travel for commuters affected by autumn’s construction blitz, which will close nine train lines for up to three weeks in April.

More than 1.5 million commuters are expected to be affected by the unprecedented rail shutdowns during the April school holidays and Easter holiday period.

Buses will replace trains on the Frankston, Cranbourne, Pakenham, Sandringham, Gippsland and Warrnambool lines. The Geelong, Mernda and Glen Waverley lines will also be affected.  

In Melbourne much of the disruption is necessary for construction of the Metro Tunnel in South Yarra, and for the introduction of new high-capacity trains that will soon be trialled on Melbourne’s rail network. Elsewhere, level-crossing removals, track works and rail bridge projects require lines to be closed.

South Yarra site of Metro Tunnnel entrance

The South Yarra site where construction of the Metro Tunnnel entrance will cause major rail delays in April. Photo: nearmap.

RACV general manager public policy Bryce Prosser says that while the works are important, free travel should be considered to compensate commuters.

“RACV welcomes any move to improve Melbourne’s public transport network, but the repeated construction blitz closures, as well as unplanned events like faulty signals and train breakdowns, are affecting people.”

He welcomes the government’s advance notice of the works so people can plan ahead, and says train commuters should make themselves aware of options and look at using travel apps like RACV’s arevo to find new ways to get to their destinations, such as switching train lines, and using trams, buses or bike sharing to complete their journeys. They could also seek approval from their employer to change their work location during the disruptions.

For full details of the disruptions and updates for all lines go to bigbuild.vic.gov.au.