Govt insults its constituents by axing 25 bus routes while inviting feedback
The axing of 25 Eastern Suburbs bus routes without any prior consultation is a betrayal of local residents designed to hide the NSW Government’s incompetent management of the light rail, the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW says, demanding the Transport Minister reverse the changes and keep his promise that commuters would not be worse off with a privatised network.
David Babineau, RTBU NSW Tram and Bus Division Secretary, says Minister Constance has added insult to injury by announcing the cuts alongside an invitation for community feedback.
“Ever since the privatisation of Sydney’s buses was announced, the community has fought tooth and nail to keep the network in public hands and force the government to acknowledge their outrage and guarantee that commuters would not suffer as a result,” says Mr Babineau.
“Finally, after dozens of rallies and three Parliament debates local residents have won this invitation for feedback. At the same time, it’s a complete slap in the face to be offered their first chance to have their say while learning of the complete demolition of their bus network.”
After the government refused to consult on changes to the bus network, the Our Transport campaign ran a survey of almost 2,000 residents in affected bus regions, including Region 9, where residents identified dozens of bus routes they relied on most.
These included axed routes 302, 314, 316, 317, 353, 372, 323, 376, 377, 393, 394, 395 and L94, as well as many of the additional 23 routes that will be changed.
“If the government had bothered to do its job, if just one of the Liberal MPs in these regions being privatised had stuck their head out their electorate office window and asked the first person they saw, they would know that their constituents hate seeing their local buses whittled away,” says Mr Babineau.
“Just last month the union warned that the government would start cutting off buses at the tram stop to force people onto the light rail and inflate its embarrassingly low patronage figures.
“I encourage everyone to participate and send the government feedback about these proposed changes, and I look forward to Minister Constance’s full and transparent response.”