Notification

Rock attacks cause closure of SmartBus stops in Epping

Added: 6 July 2012

A spate of rock attacks targeting buses has caused the temporary diversion of SmartBus Route 901 and closure of several bus stops along McDonalds Road in Epping.

Director of Network Operations at Public Transport Victoria, Norman Gray, said that SmartBus Route 901 would have to be diverted due to rocks being thrown at buses.

"The safety of passengers and drivers is our top priority, and it’s extremely disappointing that we have to divert this popular bus service to ensure the safety of those on board," Mr Gray said.

"Throwing rocks at any vehicle is incredibly dangerous and completely unacceptable, and the police are investigating these recent rock attacks on buses."

Ron Hamilton, General Manager of Operations at bus operator Ventura, said that in the last week there had been four reported rock attacks targeting SmartBus Route 901, on top of a further 20 attacks from January thorough to the start of July this year.

"The safety of both our passengers and drivers is our highest priority. The ongoing targeting of our buses leaves us little choice but to alter our services," Mr Hamilton said.

"It is disappointing that a small number of irresponsible people have a disregard for the safety of others and the needs of the community. We are hopefully that this action will generate a local community response that will address the problem."

Until safety concerns can be resolved, SmartBus Route 901 will run express from Epping Station to South Morang Station, via Dalton Road, Childs Road, Morang Drive and Civic Drive.

Passengers who normally catch the bus from stops along McDonalds Road are advised to contact Public Transport Victoria to identify the best alternative bus stop for their travel needs.

SmartBus Route 901 will operate its normal route west of Epping Station and east of South Morang Station.

It is hoped SmartBus Route 901 will be able to resume its usual route along McDonalds Road shortly.

> People with any information about the attacks are asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000

> For passenger information about alternative bus routes and stops, contact Public Transport Victoria on 1800 800 007