Media Release: Sydneysiders to face commuting hell thanks to Gov’s foreign privatisation agenda
The confirmed closure and privatisation of the Epping to Chatswood train line will turn parts of Sydney into commuter hell for seven months, come September 30th.
Over the weekend commuters and workers had their fears confirmed that the Minister for Transport, Andrew Constance, will begin tearing up a relatively new rail line this year.
The Rail Tram and Bus Union NSW, (RTBU) Secretary, Alex Claassens said, “If we thought the network was already suffering congestion problems, it’s only going to get much worse because this Government is ripping up a perfectly good rail line.
“This closure spells disaster in every way for over 20,000 commuters from North West Sydney.
“Commuters should be asking the Minister Constance why he is handing over their Epping to Chatswood line to a Hong Kong company only to be ripped up and replaced with single deck, driverless trains.
“The rail closure will force an extra 110 buses every hour in peak periods onto Sydney’s already congested roads, not to mention the ripple effect that it will have by forcing other commuters onto the other currently overflowing lines to get to the city.
“We should be adding capacity to our transport network, not reducing it or making it more congested.
“While most countries around the world are looking at ways to improve transport for commuters, our government seems more preoccupied with finding ways to use our transport system to further its fixation with privatisation.”
Leaked documents revealed by Fairfax in December showed that former NSW rail heavyweights advised the Government that the metro rail plans would result in the ‘‘degradation of the robustness and reliability’’ of Sydney’s existing heavy rail network, and ‘‘ultimately lead to the total network becoming gridlocked and unworkable’’. (SMH, 19/12/18, ‘Metro line ‘will cripple network’)
“This Minister for Transport chose to ignore expert advice provided to him that this metro would turn Sydney’s transport network to chaos, and instead chose to recklessly pursue his privatisation agenda.
“Once again, it will be commuters who will suffer at the hands of this Minister’s incompetence.”