There are fears major bus services serving Sydney’s inner east will be cut, with the NSW Long Term Transport Masterplan appearing to show that a raft of bus routes serving Darlinghurst and Surry Hills will be scrapped.
While the masterplan does not specifically spell out the fate of the services, the blueprint for Sydney’s transport future does not include any bus services on Fitzroy and Albion Streets.
“All bus services on Fitzroy and Albion Streets Surry Hills will be eliminated,” said People Unite Surry Hills (PUSH) convenor Venietta Slama-Powell.
“These buses, that take people to and from the CBD, across the bridge to North Sydney and beyond, will no longer exist. Buses along these streets currently include [the] 391, 376, 374, 892 [and the] 339.”
Ms Slama-Powell said it appeared services on Oxford and Flinders Streets – two of the district’s main transport corridors – would also “be significantly reduced”. She noted that while the CBD and South East Light Rail project (scheduled to open in 2020) would take up some of the slack – the light rail line is still seven years away and services would terminate at Circular Quay.
“Light rail in Surry Hills is supposed to replace these buses but down Devonshire St [but that is] an average of one kilometre away from current bus stops. And the light rail will only go to Circular Quay, not across the bridge to North Sydney and beyond, as some of the bus services do.
“This doesn’t help residents who work in the North Sydney commercial precinct or who, for example, go to the North Sydney pool in the mornings for a swim.”
Ms Slama-Powell said residents of Surry Hills, Paddington and Darlinghurst needed to know about the planned changes to bus services.
“At the moment many don’t think that the light rail project will affect them – but it will if they use buses.”
Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich said he would raise the issue with NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian.
“Based on concerns raised with me about impacts on bus services, I intend to ask the Minister for details during the next sitting week of parliament,” said Mr Greenwich.
“In a recent meeting with Transport for NSW … I was told that final changes to bus services during light rail construction and after the light rail is complete are yet to be determined, and further consultation will occur,” he said.
A Transport for NSW spokesperson conceded that some bus routes did not appear in the transport masterplan, but said that did not necessarily mean the services would be axed.
“Information on individual bus routes and changes to services is not included in the Long Term Transport Master Plan,” said the spokesperson.
“Transport for NSW is currently reviewing bus movements … to improve existing services for customers and also look at future transport capacity needs.
“Individual impacts of any service changes are in the early stages of development and will be subject to consultation with customers, key stakeholders and the community.”