Opinion by ROYDON NG
In a major win for Western Sydney commuters, the NSW Government has promised to maintain rail services beyond Bankstown, which were scheduled for closure when the $12 billion Metro City and Southwest rail line opens.
Responding to community concerns raised at the recent NSW Upper House Inquiry into the Sydenham to Bankstown Metro, Transport for NSW has released an options paper for the 9 stations west of Bankstown.
Despite prior insistence from former Transport Minister, now Premier, Gladys Berejikilian, that the Inner West Line warranted termination at Homebush in 2013, due to a lack of track capacity further west, Transport for NSW’s latest proposal includes 2 options for continuing services through Homebush towards Regents Park.
Bus replacement not an option
Commuters from Berala, Regents Park, Sefton, Chester Hill, Leightonfield, Villawood, Carramar, Birrong, and Yagoona will no longer face an imminent threat of being forced onto buses.
There is no reason why the (former) Inner West Line’s City to Liverpool via Regents Park and City to Bankstown via Regents Park train service cannot be restored today.
The current operation of the Inner West Line from Homebush to Parramatta exposes the NSW Government’s dishonesty about insufficient track capacity at Flemington and Lidcombe for services to operate to Liverpool and Bankstown via Regents Park.
Transport for NSW’s release of options for stations west of Bankstown has been deliberately discreet, without a major press announcement and the absence of such information on the front page of Transport for NSW’s website.
This however is unsurprising, given that the NSW Government is hurriedly trying to rewrite history to coverup its previous intention to cut 19,000 commuters out from the Sydney Trains Network.
The NSW Government’s neglect of commuters west of Bankstown contributed to serious community concerns regarding the future of trains west of Bankstown.
Transport for NSW could have avoided such community angst by releasing draft options for west of Bankstown when the Sydenham to Bankstown Metro was announced in 2014.
The Western Sydney community can feel rightfully angered at being treated as second class citizens with the lack of information provided for over 5 years prior to the NSW Upper House Inquiry.
Commuters can comment on the proposal to restore the (former) “Inner West Line” [City to Liverpool via Regents Park] at https://yoursay.transport.nsw.gov.au/west-of-Bankstown
City Hub‘s previous reporting on the T3 Bankstown line Metro replacement: https://cityhubsydney.com.au/?s=t3+bankstown
Roydon Ng is co-convenor of Restore Inner West Line and Save T3 Bankstown Line community groups.