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Macquarie University stakeholders have demanded specifics from the State Government on replacement services during the shutdown of the Epping to Chatswood rail line.
A community forum on the topic was held at the university on Friday, attended by students and staff as well as Ryde Mayor Jerome Laxale and Shadow Transport Minister Jodi McKay.
From late next year, all train stations between Epping and Chatswood will be closed for seven months as part of the construction of the Sydney Metro railway.
With almost 3000 employees and 38,000 students, Macquarie University is one of the biggest stations to be affected during this period.
Over 120 new buses will be deployed to connect stations affected by the closures, running as often as every six minutes during peak times.
According to Transport for NSW, the specific date for the upgrade will be confirmed in the first half of 2018, several months before changes take place.
Customers will then be updated over the subsequent months with details on bus scheduling and transport options through online channels and an intensive stakeholder engagement program.
Program Director of Sydney Metro Rodd Staples. According to Transport for NSW, the specific shutdown date for the Epping to Chatswood rail line will be confirmed early next year. Picture: Justin SansonHowever, Ryde Mayor Jerome Laxale said the State Government wasn’t ready for the closure.
“The entire process is shrouded in secrecy and we still don’t have a firm shutdown date, or how long the stations will shut,” he said.
“Victor Dominello must be upfront with residents of Ryde and commuters to Macquarie Park. When will the chaos begin and how bad will it be?”
Dr Alison Barnes from the National Tertiary Education Union said the shutdown would cause traffic chaos.
“With the closure of the railway line will come a public transport nightmare for the University and the broader Macquarie Park area,” said Dr Barnes.
“Especially as there’s not yet a guarantee how many shuttle services will run, and how much longer commutes will be.”
Ryde Mayor Jerome Laxale says the shutdown will create “chaos” Picture: David SwiftA Transport for NSW spokesman says they have been “working with stakeholders around the precinct to make sure students, workers and residents who use the train line know what’s happening and their options when the plan starts in late 2018.
“Macquarie University were briefed earlier in the year before we announced a $49 million investment in more than 120 new buses, extra bus routes and thousands of additional services that will keep customers moving during the upgrade of the Epping to Chatswood line in late 2018 as part of Sydney Metro,” he said.
“A dedicated high frequency Macquarie University service will also run from Epping Station.”
This article first appeared on www.dailytelegraph.com.au
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