No plans to stop trains at Pakenham: Allan

State Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan says the government has no plans to stop Gippsland trains at Pakenham and make people transfer.

It comes after an Infrastructure Victoria ‘citizen jury’ consultation process recommended “increased services on the Gippsland line that connect with metropolitan services at Pakenham”, drawing criticism from local councils, politicians and the community.

“We have no plans to stop Gippsland trains at Pakenham and make people transfer,” Ms Allan said on Monday.

“Instead, we’re ordering more carriages, improving Gippsland stations and removing nine level crossings between Dandenong and the city to create space for more Metro and Gippsland services.”

‘Citizen jury’ sessions to gauge the views of regional Victorians were run by Infrastructure Victoria in Shepparton over six Saturdays earlier this year to provide input into a 30-year infrastructure strategy.

About 40 ‘everyday’ community members were randomly selected to participate and asked to consider more than 200 options to address Victoria’s infrastructure needs.

However no Gippsland town was represented, as jurors were drawn from towns within 100 kilometres of Shepparton, Infrastructure Victoria saying it was necessary to choose members who could “reasonably be expected to travel to attend every session”.

Infrastructure Victoria will release its draft strategy in October.