The Bring Back the Buses Action Group released the statement below on May 7.
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A quiet street in Melbourne northern suburb Mill Park is to be the scene of an angry protest against the Baillieu government’s recent cuts to bus services.
Rail link bus route 571 and Northlands-Greensborough bus route 563 were axed in a large scale northern suburbs bus restructure, which coincided with the opening of South Morang Station last month. A further six buses were re-routed, many of which now terminate at the new South Morang rail-bus interchange.
The Bring Back the Buses Action Group has called a rally at 3pm on May 12 in Mill Park Drive, at the defunct Mill Park Primary School bus stop, in a bid to have the government reverse its decision to remove buses from the street.
A spokesperson for the group, Helen Said, whose daughter lost her school bus in the shake-up, said: “We live in a growing suburb with an expanded train network. Yet we don’t have any extra buses. The government has removed buses from established areas and re-routed them to the new station and new housing estates.”
Said was behind a petition opposing the bus cuts, which was presented to parliament last week by Mill Park MLA Lily D’Ambrosio.
She said: “Parents are ringing me and telling me their children have to leave home at quarter to seven in the morning to get to school because there are no more buses from South Morang to Greensborough.
“Bundoora Historic Homestead is no longer accessible by bus. The closest tram stop is some three quarters of a kilometre away. Many elderly passengers can no longer enjoy free art shows at the Homestead.”
The Bring Back the Buses Action Group plans to lead a protest march later this month through the streets of Bundoora’s prestigious Mount Cooper Estate where 300 residents signed a petition opposing the removal of their buses.