Yasmin Catley, Member for Swansea and Jodie Harrison, Member for Charlestown are calling on Keolis Downer and the Transport Minister to come clean about its revised bus network it plans to roll out.
The Rail Tram and Bus Union have raised their concerns regarding Keolis Downers plans to reduce weekend bus services in Lake Macquarie.
Here is what we know:
– There will be no expansion to the current hours of operation of the on-demand services or route 41, 43 and 48 services.
– Route 41, 43 and 48 buses will run at two hour intervals during off peak times. Currently these services run at one hour intervals.
– On-demand services will be expanded to the south of Lake Macquarie as far as Gen Street and Victoria Avenue (Near Belmont TAFE).
The changes to the network have been made with no community consultation and do not address any of the concerns repeatedly raised by members of the local community.
“Overwhelmingly the community tell us that they want the former route 350 bus back.”
“Passengers from south east Lake Macquarie are wanting to travel to the key employment, services, transport and educational hubs of Broadmeadow, Hamilton and Newcastle West.”
“Keolis Downer should be reviewing the timetable to provide better integration between services such as the route 14 and 29 services, not using it as an opportunity to reduce the level of service,” Stated MP Yasmin Catley.
It is crystal clear that the reduction of services has been made deliberately to create a public transport blackspot, to be conveniently filled by the expansion of the on-demand services.
MP for Charlestown, Jodie Harrison added:
“Newcastle’s so-called ‘public transport’ system has been in chaos ever since changes were made to the timetables and routes in January last year.”
“For 18 months, my constituents have endured longer journey times, poorer connectivity and cuts to services – now they are facing reduced operating hours on weekends.”
“My office is again being inundated with complaints about the lack of transport services particularly to the suburbs of Redhead, Dudley and Whitebridge.”
The Minister and Keolis Downer must explain to the community why on-demand services are being rolled out at the expense of key fixed-route services.