Friday, 08 December 2017 15:50

Hawkesbury protests new rail timetable

Train pulling into East Richmond station. Train pulling into East Richmond station.

Hawkesbury Councillors and the Federal Member for Maquarie, Susan Templeman, hosted a ‘Listening Station’ at Richmond Park last month in response to community backlash about the new Sydney Trains timetable.

Dissatisfaction with the new timetable arises from longer travel times, as well as a fifteen minute shift in scheduling which has caused significant inconvenience for many commuters on the half-hourly service – amounting to 30 minutes extra away from home each day.

At the event, one local resident said “It adds an extra half an hour on my day at a minimum, depending on which train I am able to get on in the afternoon…I don’t see my daughter. I say goodnight to her on Sunday night and I see her when she gets home on Friday afternoon.

Another explained how the new timetable is affecting her childcare arrangements. 

On October 31st, Hawkesbury City Council unanimously passed a motion to write to the state government requesting a review.

Liberal councillor and WSROC Director, Nathan Zamprogno, said “We deserve better and we deserve to have an express service and we've never really had one.”

Mayor of Hawkesbury City Council, Mary Lyons-Buckett, said with Western Sydney rapidly expanding, more train services should be put on.

Macquarie MP Susan Templeman said the state government “either doesn’t know the impacts the timetable changes are having on commuters in the west, or it simply doesn’t care”.

“Not everyone can negotiate new start and finish times with employers; not everyone can get earlier childcare; not everyone can demand flexibility in their work arrangements.

“Time and time again, the Hawkesbury is missing out on the investment and infrastructure it needs, and is continually being forced to make sacrifices for the benefit of those in other parts of the city, but enough is enough,” said Ms Templeman.