Melbourne set for Friday chaos



Commuters in Melbourne are likely to face a tough trip to work on Friday, as train operators stage a strike to object to pay conditions.

Services between 8.30am and 4.30pm are expected to be effected by the stop work action on the Melbourne Metro network, which will be held between 10am and 2pm.

It is expected to “substantially increase” travel times for some commuters.

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VicRoads acting director road operations Nick Fisher expected some employees to take the day off to avoid the chaos.

“We are expecting that the peak periods will start earlier, and people who do experience it know what our Melbourne peak feels like, that should be extending through most of the middle part of the day,” Mr Fisher told 3AW on Thursday morning.

“There will be a doubling of travel times on some parts of the network. Our advice is for people to plan their journeys, to be patient and please drive safely.

“We are actually expecting some people will take the day off and that there will be some carpooling, but there will also be a lot more cars on the network.”

Non-essential road works will be cancelled as a result.

To alleviate some of the congestion, the Taxi Commissioner approved “peak service taxis” to operate between 8.30am and 3pm on Friday and put an extra 600 cabs on the road.

Usually these taxis are normally authorised to operate between 3pm and 7am.

“It will be like a grand final day,” 13CABS representative Simon Perssey told 3AW.

Trams and buses will continue to operate as normal. Tram services were halted last week on Thursday due to the strike.

A pay dispute between the Victorian Government and the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU), the union representing Metro Trains workers, led to the strikes.

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