Greens call for urgent action on woeful public transport options in Wollongong and Illawarra

Greens NSW MP and Transport Spokesperson Cate Faehrmann today joined Greens candidates Jamie Dixon for Shellharbour, Ben Arcioni for Wollongong and Kaye Osborn for Keira to call for urgent action on woeful public transport options in Wollongong and the Illawarra.

The Greens are calling on all parties to commit to:

  1. a feasibility study into local all-stops trains being available every 10-15 minutes;
  2. the development of a public transport master plan for the Illawarra region;
  3. a 30% target for journeys being made by public or active transport (walking and cycling); and
  4. The protection of a public transport corridor through the West Dapto land release.

Currently there is just one local all-stops train is available per hour on the Illawarra line, due to the NSW Government focus on public transport for commuting trips only. Locals have also told the Greens that there are limited or overcrowded buses to areas that are inaccessible on the train line.

The NSW Government had set a target for public transport to make up 15% of transport in Wollongong by 2016 as part of their ILLAWARRA Regional Transport Plan released in 2014 (see page 16).

However according to the Government’s Household Travel Survey (HTS) - Data by LGA, in 2017/18 public transport (bus plus train) only made up 7% of journeys – less than half the Government’s target.

In the strategy the Government also promised to develop a “transport strategy for key precincts such as West Dapto’ – this has not been delivered despite land being rapidly sold off in the land release.

The also promised annual updates on the masterplan but after the first update in 2014/15 they have not delivered any updates.

Greens NSW Transport Spokesperson Cate Faehrmann said:

“It is clear that for too long Wollongong and the surrounding region has been treated like a provincial town when it comes to public transport, rather than the major city of over a quarter of a million people that it is.

“It is scandalous that the Government has missed its public transport target for Wollongong by such a wide margin. This reflects the government's view that the Illawarra region is simply a satellite of Sydney, with public transport options only set up to cater for commuter trips.

“Wollongong residents deserve regular and accessible public transport options.  The Greens are calling on all parties to commit to funding a feasibility study into local all-stops trains being available at least every 10 to 15 minutes without impacting on commuter express services to Sydney.  

“We also support a target of 30% of all journeys in Wollongong being by public transport or cycling and walking by 2025, and the development of a public transport masterplan to achieve this.”

Jamie Dixon, NSW Greens Candidate for Shellharbour said:

“With 70,000 new residents moving into West Dapto and Calderwood in the next few years, now is the time to plan for efficient and accessible public transport.”

“We have a unique opportunity to build a landmark network running on 100% renewable energy, and using local steel.”

Ben Arcioni, NSW Greens Candidate for Wollongong said:

“The Green bus in Wollongong has been a great success in connecting the city centre to surrounding suburbs. We need a similar model to link together communities in Dapto and throughout the Illawarra.

“Integrated, well planned public transport keeps our communities connected, growing and moving.”

Kaye Osborn, NSW Greens Candidate for Keira said:

“The journey between Sydney and Wollongong takes just as long as it did in the 1930’s. This is just not good enough.”

“We need a faster, more convenient public transport system to keep pace with our rapidly growing region.”

Media contacts:

Cate Faehrmann: 0412 207 043,

Jamie Dixon: 0403 402 114

Ben Arcioni: 0466 433 047

Kaye Osborn: 0408 763 079

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