Community members and tourists alike will have more opportunities to travel between Stawell and Halls Gap with an increase in bus services.
The state government announced the amount of V/Line coaches between the towns will double from March 31 to two services per day.
Morning and afternoon services in each direction will run seven days a week, stopping at key areas such as Brambuk, Halls Gap Visitors Centre and Stawell Station.
“Locals and visitors deserve more travel options in this beautiful region of Victoria – and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” Western Victoria MP Jaala Pulford said.
“With these upgrades, we’re making sure that public transport in Victoria’s regions connects more people to more places.”
STAWELL TO HALLS GAP COACH STOPS
Ms Pulford said the new services are coordinated to link with Melbourne bound coaches at Stawell Station.
Northern Grampians Shire councillor Jason Hosemans welcomed the announcement on Monday.
“Council has been advocating on behalf of community for several years so we are really happy,” he said.
“It makes it a bit easier and more viable for people to work in Halls Gap and it also allows for better tourism access to the town.
“There is a bit of an issue with a lack of accomodation for workers in Halls Gap, so if they are able to live in a bigger town like Stawell and catch public transport that is ideal.”
Tim Walsh owns Halls Gap business Tim’s Place and has been a vocal advocate for increased public transport between Halls Gap and Stawell “for about 15 years”. He said the increased services is a “game changer”.
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“It will not only take people just to the centre of Halls Gap but also around some of the surrounding region as well,” he said.
“It is very important for tourists as well as the local community.
“People in Stawell can work in Halls Gap and vice versa. Elderly people can go shopping or go to medical appointments without worrying about how to get back later in the day.
“There are so many benefits to it.”
Mr Walsh said this move sets the groundwork to expand the service throughout the region in the coming years.
“The next step will be to get a bus via Pomonal and Lake Fyans and really stretch out the reach for tourists and locals,” he said.
The new timetables will be available from March 1.
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