On track for trans­port chaos next year

Monthly Chronicle - - News -

The clo­sure of the T1 North­ern Line Ep­ping to Chatswood rail­way line at the end of 2018 for up­grades, has an­gered reg­u­lar users who say their jour­neys to the CBD will be 50% longer.

Now they’re press­ing Trans­port for NSW to spill the beans on what ap­pears to be a closely-guarded se­cret about ar­range­ments for com­muters dur­ing the clo­sure.

Trans­port for NSW says de­tails will be forth­com­ing later this year about ar­range­ments dur­ing the Metro Tun­nel con­struc­tion.

As it stands Thorn­leigh, Pen­nant Hills and Nor­man­hurst com­muters can hop on one train all the way to town - but it’s about to change with them hav­ing to get to the CBD via a train swap at Strath­field.

Noel Ox­ley, from the Pen­nant Hills Civic Trust, said lo­cal com­muters have been plead­ing for years with the gov­ern­ment to find out de­tails of the clo­sure plans, to no avail.

“The belief of peo­ple in Pen­nant Hills is that Trans­port for NSW knows what the plans are but don’t want to re­lease them be­cause of the anger it will cause.

“At the mo­ment it’s one train to the city which takes 50 min­utes. We think it will be­come two trains tak­ing at least 70 min­utes, mak­ing it a worse ser­vice that the one this line had 100 years ago when the Pen­nant Hills to Cen­tral line was just one train.

“We want Trans­port for NSW to come out with a de­fin­i­tive state­ment so we know what’s go­ing on.”

For the Tem­po­rary Trans­port Plan TfNSW has de­vised, buses are due to re­place trains for the sev­en­month clo­sure be­tween Chatswood and Ep­ping. Af­ter this, there will be around 15 trains an hour in both di­rec­tions dur­ing peak hour, qua­dru­pling the num­ber of trains cur­rently serv­ing this stretch of line dur­ing its busiest times.

There will be ex­tra bus stops, bus shel­ters and seats and some on-street car park­ing tem­po­rar­ily re­moved to make way for ex­tra bus park­ing. “We recog­nise the im­pacts the tem­po­rary trans­port plan will have on peo­ple's daily lives,” said a Sydney Metro spokesper­son.

On the tem­po­rary bus routes he said: “Be­cause of the com­par­a­tive speed of trains over buses, cus­tomers can ex­pect longer jour­ney times. A fleet of around 75 buses will be pro­vided, op­er­at­ing about 160 ser­vices each week­day morn­ing pe­riod and about 170 ser­vices each af­ter­noon/evening. Fares will be based on the nor­mal rail fares that cus­tomers would usu­ally pay.”

Mem­bers of the both the Beecroft and Pen­nant Hills Civic Trusts at Pen­nant Hills sta­tion. Photo: Michael Bianchino

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