Transport Minister Andrew Constance my have shut the door in the face of pleas from local commuters, the local community and local MPs who are appealing to have alterations made to our train timetable (See that story HERE), however the fight is far from over.
All those fighting for more trains to stop at Northern Illawarra stations are baffled by the Minister’s response and have vowed to continue lobbying until good sense prevails.
Stephen Kennard for the Thirroul Transport Committee says it’s surprising the minister treated their request for a meeting with such disdain. “We need a restored service for the whole Northern Illawarra,” he says. “We appreciate that a few express services from Wollongong to Sydney are now 6 minutes shorter, however the trip is now longer for residents of the Northern Suburbs.
“The Minister’s response shows he doesn’t listen to the users of the service. he chooses not to instruct Transport NSW to restore the service to the Northern Illawarra, instead, he spent $1.5 million on a carpark 8 minutes walk from Thirroul Station.
Stephen says the Minister’s claim of an additional 125 additional weekly express services between Sydney and Wollongong are simply not true. “We challenge him to tell us which services these are, when our calculations actually show there are less services with less services than there were before the timetable changed in 2013.
“The Minister claims there was minimal demand at Bulli and Austinmer Stations to warrant adding them as express stops. Where is the evidence that these residents don’t want to travel from stations close to their homes?
“As Thirroul has only one road over the railway line, we need to reduce traffic movements it he suburb, not increase them. The changes to the 2013 timetable introduced traffic that does not need to come into Thirroul.”
A week after Northern Illawarra contacted Transport Minister Andrew Constance regarding the Great Northern Illawarra Timetable Debacle, we are yet to receive a reply.