Urgency motion on changes to Inner West bus services

Last week, Inner West residents in Newtown and St Peters discovered that Transport for NSW was making changes to bus services that are due to take effect from 6 May 2018. This will result in changes to routes, route withdrawals, and in some cases, reduced service. That's why I'll be tabling the following motion for urgent consideration at Council's Extraordinary Council Meeting on Tuesday 1 May. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know.

MOTION:

THAT Council writes urgently to the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure and the Secretary of Transport for NSW (TfNSW) to ask that TfNSW:

1. Reverse planned changes to the 422 bus route so that it continues to start and terminate in Martin Place

2. Reverse any planned changes to other Inner West bus services that result in a reduction of service to and from the Inner West;

3. Correct any missing or potentially misleading information on the TfNSW website relating to route changes.

BACKGROUND:

Transport for NSW has recently publicised changes to a number of Inner West bus routes that will take effect from 6 May 2018. One of these changes will see the 422 bus route that currently runs to Martin Place terminate at Central instead.

This change will see residents in Camperdown, Newtown, St Peters, Sydenham and Tempe forced to catch two or more buses in order to complete their journeys to and from the CBD. As well as adding to travel times and inconveniencing commuters, this is likely to make using public transport even more difficult for people who are unable to switch services with ease.

The 422 service also runs through key destinations in the Inner West that draw people to our area. So while even though Council is working with local business association to promote visitation and build new opportunities for the night-time economy, the proposed changes to the route could end up making it more difficult for people to visit our area. 

A number of changes to other Inner West bus routes have also been proposed, some of which involve route changes or withdrawals. These were published on the TfNSW website at https://transportnsw.info/news/2018/inner-west-bus-changes on 27 April 2018.

At least one of the descriptions of route changes on the aforementioned TfNSW link has the potential to mislead residents about the full impact of the change. For example, the L38 from Abbotsford to Martin Place, which services the Stanmore and Leichhardt wards, is advertised as having “5 additional weekly services, providing an additional afternoon peak service” from 6 May. However, while an 18:52 weekday service from the CBD to the inner west has been added to the new timetable, the current 15:06 service has been deleted. This means there is actually no net increase in services, and a later start to the afternoon service, which will now commence at 15:26.


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