Common sense prevails

March 07, 2018

Disgruntled V/Line customer Graeme Wilson at Echuca Railway Station.

IT’S a win for common sense.

After writing a letter to local MPs, as well as an article which ran in the Free Press and Riverine Herald, Tongala’s Graeme Wilson can carry his electric bicycle on a V/Line coach service.

As a pensioner who doesn’t have a car or a licence, Graeme was forced to spend more than $100 on taxi fares to run errands around Echuca.

His solution was to buy an electric bicycle, meaning he could catch the bus to Echuca and ride around before catching the next service home.

However, he was met with resistance from bus drivers who refused to let him carry it in the luggage area.

Until now.

Letter of approval in hand, Graeme sets off for his weekly trip, sometimes expecting to be met with frustration from drivers on the service.

‘‘I’ve never been one to complain about anything before, but it didn’t seem right and it just wasn’t right,’’ he said.

‘‘I have a couple of extra letters from V/Line printed off so I can show it to a driver if they try to refuse.’’

The only condition is he removes the battery and carries it with him onto the bus.

However, he said some drivers on other routes were still displaying a ‘‘no bicycles’’ sign.

‘‘I’ve approached them and shown them the letter but they couldn’t seem to care less about it,’’ he said.

‘‘I am concerned if they allow me on the initial trip but I get denied on the return trip, then I’ll be stuck in Echuca and forced to take a $60 taxi ride.

‘‘If I did get denied I’d probably have to stand in the way of the bus so I’m not stranded in another town.’’

So while Graeme has been victorious, he’s not celebrating just yet.

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