University of Wollongong students and staff have raised concerns about the latest train time table change of the city rail network.
This change is the largest overhaul of the NSW train timetable in a generation and will be implemented next Sunday.
“The afternoon trains are of biggest concern for us,” Transport project officer for UOW, Jacqui Besgrove said. “They leave for Sydney at 37 minutes past the hour which for those finishing lectures at half past is very tight to get to the North Wollongong train station on time.”
UOW transport have been working with bus providers to match the North Gong shuttle bus to the new train times as well as leafletting communters so that they are aware of the changes.
“Its going to be very tight for us to be able to get our shuttles to meet that time,” Ms Besgrove said. “But we will maintain the the best service we can with the North Gong shuttle.
“Part of my role at the university is to encourage people to use sustainable and active transport so we want to make it as easy as possible for people to catch the train.”
Feedback from staff and students has also brought to light the issue of less frequent train stops between Stanwell Park and Austinmere with up to 85 mins between trains in the morning and two hours in the evenings.
“[This] is a significant change and not for the better.” said Ms Besgrove.
Lecturer, Boni Cairncross, communtes everyday to Wollongong from central station and is disappointed with the new changes.
“It’s just not well thought out,” Ms Cairncross said. “There’s so many people who do commute to the University and they are trying to push alternatives to driving so why make it harder to get the train, shouldn’t they make it easier?”
In response to the comments made by Ms Besgrove, Kiama member for parliament Gareth Ward defended the changes saying that it is a large and difficult job to ensure that all train users are happy.
“Constructing a timetable with a network as large as city rail is, and trying to line up as many services, is a very difficult job … but i think we’ve done as good as we possibly can,” he said. “No matter what you do with the train timetable there are always going to be people who are better off and there are going to be some people who are worse off, but the goal is that we do the greatest good for the greatest number.”
UOW transport is encouraging students who are affected by the changes to provide feedback online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/JTPXH8