Platform change uproar

Photo: Fairfax Media

By Ewen McRae

Changes to Melton Station are causing unease among commuters, with city bound trains set to depart from the opposite platform from next month.
As part of the upgrades to the Ballarat Line, including a new station at Cobblebank and duplication of the line between Melton and Deer Park, the platform numbers are set to switch and city bound trains will run from the current platform two when the new timetable begins on December 2 .
A number of commuters have complained that platform two is not equipped to deal with the morning peak crowds, with less undercover areas, lack of toilets, and a single access point among their main concerns.
Train user Luke Raisbeck said the switch made no sense.
“It’s quite a short platform on that side, not at all suitable for a peak hour crowd,” Mr Raisbeck said.
“There’s been no consultation with passengers, no information on it, just a notice saying that’s what we’re doing, and from mine and a lot of other passengers point of view it’s misguided.
“It’s a cattle run between platforms to go through that tunnel, it’s also unsafe for anyone with a wheelchair, and there’s just no facilities on that side of the station.
“They’ve pumped all this money into Cobblebank and Rockbank stations, but not a cent has gone to Melton. It’s like they just want us to go to the other stations.”
There is also concern for the kiosk currently operating on platform one, which will now be on the wrong side of the station at the busiest time of the day.
An online petition has been set up by customers of the kiosk to get V/Line to reconsider the change, with over 150 signatories in the first two days.
The kiosk owner was contacted for comment, but owing to a contract with V/Line she was unable to speak.
A V/Line spokesperson said the changes to the platforms were necessary to activate the track duplication between Melton and Deer Park and improve reliability of services.
“Platform changes for services at Melton and Rockbank stations are an important part of realising the benefits of the Ballarat Line Upgrade,” they said.
“We’ll provide additional signage and customer service staff to help passengers while they are adjusting to the platform changes.”
V-Line also said they would soon be completing repairs to the asphalt, tactile ground surface indicators and platform coping on platform two.