Toolamba residents are better connected than ever with Shepparton and Melbourne bound coaches now stopping in town every weekday.
Residents are celebrating Toolamba being included on the V/Line coach route between Shepparton and Seymour after a push from within the community.
The new stop and services started late last month following community pressure.
A Melbourne-bound service has begun stopping in Old Toolamba weekdays at 9.05am, while a Melbourne to Shepparton service now stops in the town at 5.12pm weekdays.
In pushing for the service to stop, locals made the point towns with smaller populations than Toolamba’s more than 850 people were already provided for by the service and questioned whether the size of Toolamba meant it necessarily had low demand for services.
Residents also argued services travelled through Old Toolamba between Mooroopna and Murchison twice daily without stopping and would not compromise the punctuality and directness of the Shepparton to Melbourne coach service.
In correspondence, residents had stressed the closest coach stop was Mooroopna, at 13km away, adding on other routes, stops had been placed markedly closer together.
Toolamba railway station closed more than 20 years ago and since then residents argued they had needed to travel as far as to Shepparton or Seymour to connect with services.
A petition which circulated the town read ‘‘the Toolamba population has at least doubled in that time’’ since the railway station closed and stressed other V/Line coach stops were located short distances apart, with seven out of 13 stops being less than 10km apart.
‘‘A stop in Old Toolamba would alleviate extra travel, time, expense and parking issues for Toolamba residents who travel to other coach stops,’’ it read.
The desire for a stop in Toolamba was first raised in late 2015, followed by a community survey, correspondence with Public Transport Victoria, Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell and State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed.
The community received notification early this year that the new coach stop would be established in Old Toolamba, on Mooroopna-Murchison Rd.