THIRTY bus routes servicing small Victorian towns will be axed by the State Government.
The cuts will hit the trial Transport Connections Program.
The program was established by the former government in 2009 to provide 67 trial routes to address a lack of public transport servicing small regional communities.
According to Opposition transport spokeswoman Fiona Richardson, the government's "callous move'' to scrap the bus services "could isolate residents''.
Sixteen of the 30 routes to be cut are in Western Victoria.
The cuts to the Transport Connections Program bus services are expected to include:
- Bannockburn Loop
- Hamilton to Mt Gambier
- Hawkesdale to Warrnambool - school holiday service
- Lavers Hill to Colac - Friday
- Lavers Hill to Colac - Summer
- Macarthur to Warrnambool - Summer
- Moriac to Waurn Ponds and Torquay
- Mortlake to Terang
- Mortlake to Warrnambool - school holiday service
- Noorat to Warrnambool
- Port Campbell to Warrnambool - summer service
- Portland to Mt Gambier
- Queenscliff to Jan Juc
- Terang to Warrnambool - summer
- Timboon to Warrnambool- summer
- Winchelsea and Moriac to Waurn Pond and Torquay
- Boisdale to Briagalong
- Foster to Tidal River
- Lakes Entrance to Metung
- Seaspray - holiday service
- Venus Bay to Leongatha
- Trentham to Kyneton
- Flowerdale to Kinglake
- Goughs Bay to Mansfield
- Mansfield to Benalla;
- Tungamah to Cobram
- Yea to Yarra Glen/Healesville
- Lockington Rochester Station
- Ouyen to Sea Lake
- Rushworth to Shepparton via Murchison.
The Department of Transport confirmed this week that the 30 services would be cut.
A spokeswoman said the department evaluated all 67 of the connection program bus service trials.
She said services were evaluated on cost-effectiveness, passenger numbers and feedback from the local community.
"As a result of this review, 27 services have now received recurrent funding, 10 have had their trials extended for further review and 30 services have been discontinued,'' she said.
"These 30 services have been discontinued due to poor patronage, low cost effectiveness and poor alignment of trial outcomes with program objectives.''