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Media release: Workers urge respect as NSW Government’s Epping- Chatswood closure causing transport nightmare

Oct 4, 2018Media releases

MEDIA RELEASE: 2 October 2018

Transport workers are calling on commuters to take their anger out on the NSW Government, not on frontline workers, as the NSW Government plunges Sydney into transport chaos by closing the Epping to Chatswood rail line.

The Epping to Chatswood line closed on, Sunday 30 Sept. Today’s peak-hour commute is set to be the first test, and the return from school holiday crowd on 15 October another big test.

Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) NSW Secretary, Alex Claassens said workers are just as frustrated as commuters are about the closure.

“The NSW Government is about to plunge the city into months of commuter chaos for no good reason. We all have a right to be angry about that, but it’s important to remember that it’s not the fault of the frontline workers,” Mr Claassens said.

“We’re just out there trying to do our job and get people where they need to go as quickly and as seamlessly as possible. It’s difficult when the government insists on regularly making ridiculous decision like this, but we’re just doing the best we can.

“Workers are just as frustrated as the commuters are. We’ve been warning the government not to do this, but unfortunately the Transport Minister hasn’t listened.

Line closure another irresponsible transport decision

Mr Claassens said the line closure is the latest in a long list of irresponsible transport decisions by the NSW Government.

“Tearing down the Epping to Chatwsood rail line to replace it with a private, driverless metro system that won’t fit as many people as the current trains do is the height of irresponsibility.

“Commuters along the Epping to Chatswood line are being treated with absolute disdain by this NSW Government.

“This is going to impact the whole region – roads, buses, other rail lines – and for what? In the end all we’re going to get in an inferior service that doesn’t fit as many people as the current service does.

“There’s absolutely no doubt that service on the line needed to be improved – the NSW Government needs to improve the service on our rail network as a whole. But this is not the way to go about it.

“We’re going to see overcrowded bus stops with long lines during peak hour, buses stuck in Sydney’s already heavily congested roads, buses will be over capacity and overcrowded, and commuters will have to catch multiple services.”

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