The mayor of Randwick has told an NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into the privatisation of buses that residents hold “deep concerns” about the changes to public transport in the eastern suburbs.
Dylan Parker, the mayor of Randwick Council, gave evidence at the parliamentary inquiry earlier in May, where he spoke about the issues that the losses of bus services have caused due to the light rail service.
Significant changes were made to the bus services in December last year, with services slashed across the eastern suburbs. Council has opposed the changes, and has called for “the ongoing retention of the bus services which were cut and to call as well for the release of all of the consultation data held by the New South Wales government in relation to this”.
The inquiry seeks to investigate the modelling, rationale and process of privatising bus services, and its implications and impact on worker pay and conditions. The cuts have also been opposed by the neighbouring Waverley Council.
Well-functioning public transport service the ‘bare minimum’
Randwick councillor Philipa Veitch. Photo: Greens on Council.
Randwick Greens councillor Philipa Veitch told City Hub earlier this year that the changes had lost direct routes to workplaces and had increased waiting times for commuters, saying that the area needs a “broad-ranging, frequent and affordable public transport service that caters for all in our community”.
“A number of residents have told me that the 10-minute estimated walk time to new bus stops is actually much longer, with seniors having to walk 20-30 minutes in some cases. This is just unacceptable.
“A well-functioning public transport service, as well as cycle paths and cycle-friendly streets and roads are just the bare minimum.”
The NSW government first announced the planned privatisation of remaining Sydney bus routes in October 2019, with those in region nine – which covers the Port Botany, Randwick and Waverley depots – to take place from April 2022.