Commuters are reporting their disappointment at the recent changes to the South Coast Line rail timetable announced by the Baird Government, following the conclusion of trial to include Austinmer in peak services.

Ryan Park, Shadow Minister for the Illawarra says commuters using Austinmer station are expressing their dismay at the limited evening peak services offered in the amended timetable due to commence in 17 October. Mr Park indicated Austinmer commuters will have to adjust their travel habits again to ensure they are able to return to the station where their car is parked.

Commuters have been calling for something to be done to the current timetable and residents of Thirroul were fed up with the parking congestion. Mr Park has called into doubt the decision to only keep two of the evening peak services stopping at Austinmer and has pointed out this will eliminate any improvements achieved in parking around Thirroul.

Mr Park says the changes announced last week will do nothing to address the ongoing problem of overcrowding on South Coast Line rail services.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Illawarra Ryan Park:

“It is very disappointing that only two evening peak services stopping at Austinmer have been made permanent. This will mean many commuters will be left with no option other than parking in Thirroul.”

“The Government has missed this important opportunity to provide a reliable and meaningful daily rail service for commuters who will now have fewer options to ensure they arrive back at the same station they departed from in the morning.”

“I welcome the introduction of Austinmer being included as a permanent stop on some of the express services to Sydney however the Minister needs to explain why less than half of what were trialled have been made permanent.”

“Commuters have said time and time again that overcrowding continues to be a major concern on the South Coast line. It is simply unacceptable that we have passengers standing or sitting on the stairs for the duration of their journey from Sydney.  This raises significant safety concerns and needs immediate attention from the Minister.”