Sydney’s train timetable will alter on November 26. But it appears, despite enough can-rattling to wake the dead, for the Northern Illawarra, nothing will change.
Since the introduction of the OPAL Card, Sydney Trains has been gathering our travel statistics with a view to improving the rail network.
They’ve discovered 1.3 million people now use the Sydney Train network each weekday and say this surge in passenger numbers means some lines are overcrowded, with five of the 15 train lines running over the average of 135 percent seating capacity in the morning peak.
So they’re changing the timetable.
For 71 percent of Sydney Stations it will mean a train stop every 15 minutes. 20 new express trains will head West- which means one every three minutes in peak periods. But in the Illawarra…. crickets.
According to the link on the Transport NSW website, despite campaigning for trains to stop more frequently at stations other than Helensburgh and Thirroul, there will be no changes to our timetable.
Keira MP Ryan Park says it’s a blatant case of ignoring our cry for change.
“It’s disappointing the Government refuses to listen,” he says. “We have one of the largest commuter populations in the country yet despite our repeated calls for additional services, additional carriages and changes to the timetable, the Government continues to ignore us. It doesn’t make sense.”
And Mr Park says with the electorates of Lee Evans and Gareth Ward also affected, its more than a case of ignoring the Opposition-held seats.
“For some reason the Government is refusing to listen to commuters,” he says. “It’s frustrating forepeople who’ve to rely on rail services to get to work every day.
Meanwhile Mr Park has been campaigning for more carriages for our Southern Line, saying in particular, the 3.24pm and 3.54pm services from Central are overcrowded.
“Each day commuters are forced to stand up for the majority of the journey home on the early afternoon services,” says Mr Park. “The prolonged standing journey presents a serious safety issue.
“It is not appropriate to expect commuters to stand up for 60 or 90 minutes, or take a seat in the stairwell.”
“It’s time the Coalition Government took stopped treating Illawarra commuters as second-class”.
“I am inundated by reports of people who have been forced to stand up in conditions which simply are not good enough. Illawarra commuters pay their fare, so deserve a quality service.
“If the Government is fair-dinkum about encouraging people to catch public transport, and get cars off the road, then the journey must be safe.
“Tragically, I’ve met people with disabilities who are now unable to catch the train due to over-crowding. It’s simply not good enough.
“Will the Minister please stand up for the people of the South Coast?”