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REGIONAL RAIL PLAN ABANDONED

June 09, 2017

The NSW Government appears to have abandoned producing a regional rail plan.

 

The Illawarra Regional Transport Plan released in March 2014 mentioned that the Government would develop a Regional Rail Plan (see page 20).

 

In answer to a Question on Notice from Wollongong MP, Paul Scully, the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Andrew Constance MP, has now indicated that:

 

Opportunities for regional transport improvements are being considered through the development of the Government’s Future Transport Strategy.  The Strategy is expected to be released in 2018.

 

While the NSW Government abandons its Regional Rail Plan, Illawarra rail commuters continue to experience slower travel times on the South Coast Line, unreliable services and overcrowded carriages.

 

Freight also continues to compete with passenger rail on an increasingly congested South Coast Line because the NSW Government has failed to prioritise the completion of the Maldon-Dombarton rail link.

 

Mr Scully has also asked the Government when it will release the next “annual update” to its Illawarra Regional Transport Plan, which was first promised every 12 months, with the second update also overdue.

 

The inaugural “annual update” was published in March last year, almost two years overdue.

 

Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP:

 

“The Government has promised so many plans and plan updates to its plans that it has now abandoned any plans to produce a plan for regional rail.

 

“In the meantime, regional rail passengers, like commuters in the Illawarra, have to continue to put up with inadequate services, overcrowded carriages, a slow journey from Wollongong to Sydney and competition for slots with freight.

 

“Now we’re supposed to await yet another plan which is under development to be released next year.”

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