Labor promises a review of timetables if elected at March 25 state election

AN elected Labor government is promising a review of train timetables to deliver more express services and better transport connections for Illawarra commuters ahead of the State election on March 25.

The incumbent minority Liberal/National Coalition government, led by Premier Dominic Perrottet, is seeking to win a fourth successive four-year term in office. They will be challenged by the Labor Party, led by Opposition Leader Chris Minns.

Also re-contesting two seats in the northern Illawarra will be sitting MPs, Labor’s Ryan Park in Keira, and Liberal’s Lee Evans in Heathcote. The Greens, other minor parties and several independents will also contest the election.

State MP for Keira, Ryan Park said passengers from the Illawarra and South Coast have been dealing with infrequent and relatively slow services for many years.

Mr Park, who is also the NSW Shadow Minister for the Illawarra and South Coast, said commuters in the region have no option but to drive and park at Thirroul Station for express services to Sydney. He said connectivity of services for express services into Sydney remains a problem for Illawarra commuters.

“People have been waiting longer for connecting services to Sydney,” Mr Park said.

“It’s time to review the train timetable so that we can make train services better to give people an alternative to driving their vehicles.

“It is important that with the rising costs of living, using public transport is a viable option for people needing to travel to work.”

It is estimated around 35,000 Illawarra residents commute outside the region, 26,000 of those are travelling to Sydney for work each day.

Shadow Minister for Transport, Jo Haylen MP said commuters are choosing to go in their cars due to the ineffective and slow train timetable.

 “Too many passengers are left with no choice but to drive to hub stations, North Wollongong, Thirroul and Helensburgh due to insufficient connecting services,” she said.

“And since the pandemic travel work patterns have changed, there are opportunities to flatten the peak and deliver more frequent and efficient off peak services.”

Labor’s timetable review will also include the Sydney Metropolitan Network and the wider NSW Train network. It will assess the needs for more train services and will use the surplus capacity on the network brought about by the new metro and the rollout of the New Intercity Fleet to deliver more services across the network.

The review will also deal with how to deliver the transport services of the future given that work patterns and travel patterns have permanently shifted.

This will include looking at how to flatten the peak on public transport and better utilise the transport infrastructure that we have, as well as providing more frequent services all day rather than only during the traditional morning and evening peaks.

The review of the train timetable will also be followed by a review of the bus, ferry and light rail timetables to ensure that connections across the whole network are as seamless as possible.

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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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