In a leaked document yet to be confirmed by CityRail, the new timetable for trains on the south coast line during peak hour, means that express trains will no longer stop at stations north of Thirroul including Stanwell Park.
It’s a move that will take the level of service provided for commuters back to a bygone era and force them to travel longer and change trains more frequently on their commute into the city. Rumor has it that commuters will have to travel to a designated hub, and find parking to catch the express train, or catch a ‘cleanup’ train to Helensburgh and switch there.
Anne from Stanwell Park says the timetable changes have been a poorly guarded secret and that it is offensive CityRail has not done appropriate consultation with the public. “They are more worried about new uniforms and their public image to deal with the real issues. This (CityRail) is an essential service, a mass mover of the people, to places they have to go, not a joy ride”, she said.
“It seems strange that they are hiring new staff and trying to improve their image when Transport Minister Gladys Berjiklian is now talking about driver-less trains.”
Some locals have tried to ask questions about the rumored changes coming into affect in October and CityRail will not engage at this time. Their tactics lend support to the theory that the information about the changes will be provided last minute in an attempt to prevent a well organised and considered public response.
“It seems that the rhetoric and promises we have heard for the last few years from Ms Berjiklian have been the usual meaningless drivel” said Stanwell Park resident Wendy Rowlings, who is rallying support from local commuters, “Of course the bottom line is funding new service improvements elsewhere by taking services from other areas such as Stanwell Park and surrounding suburbs. This Robyn Hood- like strategy will not be acceptable to workers here on the coast, who travel into the city everyday to work and already have longer travel times than other first world train systems, impacting their quality of life.”
Local man Dave gets quite emotional talking about getting home to see his children who are very young and go to bed early. “Any more time added to my trip home will mean I only get to interact with my kids on the weekend, and that would be devastating. I need to work in the city and when we moved here, there was full train service. I don’t understand how a public service can be deleted with no public consultation” he said.
Locals should be concerned about flow on effects to their lifestyle, their families and their property values. Even if they do not use public trains themselves they should support their community in the fight to prevent loss of amenity to our beautiful suburbs.