Media Release: Is commuter chaos as light rail breaks down at Randwick and lack of contingency buses a sign of things to come with bus privatisation?
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union NSW Tram and Bus Division has slammed the response to a light rail breakdown at Randwick yesterday and ensuing commuter chaos, questioning why additional buses were not deployed to help transport people towards the city and their destinations.
The light rail broke down on the corner of Anzac and Robertson Road, blocking the bus lane and causing chaos at Anzac Parade during the peak on Tuesday morning.
Buses travelling existing bus routes along Anzac Parade were inundated, including some routes set to be axed.
“Another transport management fail in Randwick yesterday morning and a shocking preview of what could happen more often with bus route cuts and privatisation,” said RTBU NSW Tram and Bus Division Secretary David Babineau.
“In the past, if we had the light rail stalled and buses blocked, we’d expect a call out for additional workers and extra buses deployed to get people to work and onward destinations.
“Instead, there was radio silence Tuesday morning, with frustrated commuters deciding that it would be quicker to walk to the city than get on the already overloaded buses.
“This is not good enough. You’d have to ask – is this what we can expect with the service cuts and privatisation of bus services in region 9?
“Will the NSW Government step away from offering additional bus services and funding the fixes to keep commuters moving when bus routes are in private operator hands?
“And why wasn’t the community told of this risk that they would be left on the side of the road when mishaps and accidents occur?
“The NSW Government’s community consultation on the fate of region 9 buses in the eastern suburbs, including Randwick, has been extended.
“I encourage everyone who was impacted by yesterday’s chaos and all who rely on buses in the local areas to send the government feedback and oppose changes to these services. The union and workers look forward to Minister Constance’s full and transparent response,” Mr Babineau said.