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POWELL MEDIA RELEASE – Sunshine Coast commuters call for a rethink on new rail timetable (6 December 2010)

Sunshine Coast commuters facing earlier starts and later returns under the revised rail timetable were encouraged to register their concerns at a Translink forum on Saturday.

Newly appointed LNP Shadow Minister for Public Transport Tracy Davis joined Member for Glass House Andrew Powell at the community consultation forum in Nambour.

Ms Davis said the new timetable failed to take into account common start and finish times for Sunshine Coast residents who used the train to commute to work in Brisbane.

“Commuters who catch these train services have been neglected by this long-term Labor Government for a long time.

“Now Translink’s new timetable will actually lengthen their journeys and force commuters to catch earlier trains in the morning and later trains in the evening.”

Problems with the timetable identified by commuters and Rail Back on Track include:

  • The 5:16pm Nambour service now departs Central Station at 5:04pm, which means office workers finishing work at 5pm cannot catch this service.
  • The current 5:43pm service has been moved back to a 5:47pm departure time. This means commuters who already have the longest haul in the entire network face a 45 minute longer wait to catch their train home.
  • The morning Nambour service that currently arrives at Central at 8:16am will arrive at 8:26am, allowing workers who start at 8:30am no time to get to work. This problem also occurs with the 7:42am/8:02am service.
  • Reducing the number of stations bypassed on express services from 20 to 13 on most morning services has added to travel time.
  • A two hour gap between Nambour services on weeknights.

 

“Sunshine Coast commuters have the longest journeys on the rail network,” Ms Davis said.

“Changes to the timetable have a huge impact on commuters who rely on this service for getting to and from work.

“If the Bligh Labor Government wants to encourage South East Queenslanders onto public transport, they have to ensure that our trains are user friendly — appropriate timetables are a big part of this.”

Mr Powell, who has the majority of Sunshine Coast railway stations in his electorate, has sponsored an epetition and a paper petition to preserve the current timetable.

“There are a limited number of services running north of Caboolture, these should be as convenient as possible for Sunshine Coast commuters,” Mr Powell said.

“If it is too hard for commuters to catch the earlier or later trains, people will elect to drive to Brisbane instead.

“It is in everyone’s interest to have a train timetable that encourages commuters to use the service.

“Minister Nolan should listen to Sunshine Coast commuters’ concerns and help them arrive in Brisbane at a reasonable time to start work, and return home with minimal delay.”

The epetition can be signed at http://ow.ly/3j97k

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