By Natalee Kerr
Surf Coast residents have won bus services direct to Waurn Ponds after more than four years of campaigning.
V/Line confirmed this week that it had rerouted coach services between Lorne, Apollo Bay and Geelong to travel past Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre.
The changed service was “much needed”, said Anglesea Public Transport Action group member Lynn Bunning.
“Waurn Ponds is our closest centre for services that aren’t available in Anglesea,“ she said.
“Before this there was no direct public transport from Anglesea to Waurn Ponds. The only option was to drive, which might not be possible for some people.“
Residents had been advocating for the service for four and a half years, Ms Bunning said.
“We’ve had great support from Anglesea Community House, Anglesea Community Network and the Surf Coast Shire to help make this happen.“
The “brilliant” service benefitted both residents and visitors to the Surf Coast, she said.
“Anglesea residents can now connect with our nearest business complex, while Waurn Ponds visitors can easily come down here and experience what we have to offer, too.”
Anglesea councillor Margot Smith said she felt rewarded to “finally see an outcome”.
“Over the years we have taken every opportunity we could to advocate with residents,” Cr Smith said.
“It’s a great start for Anglesea. It gives people a lot more options in terms of what they want to do.”
The bus operates four times a day, seven days a week, with stops outside the shopping centre on Pioneer Rd.
Ms Bunning said had received a “very positive response” since the service began last weekend, she said.
“I’ve been handing out the new bus timetable and so many people are thrilled about it.”