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If train commuters wondered why they were drenched in sweat earlier this year, Campbelltown MP Greg Warren says he has the answer.
Mr Warren said Sydney Trains data showed in 2016, 27 per cent of trains on the T5 Cumberland line between Campbelltown and Schofields, were not air conditioned, while only 0.3 per cent of trains on the north shore did not have air conditioning.
Adding insult to injury, Mr Warren’s office said on January 21 this year six trains (two Waratahs, three C-sets and one K-set) were removed from the T2 Airport line and replaced with six non-air conditioned S-set trains, which Liberal MP John Sidoti (Drummoyne) admitted were “primarily” used as standby trains.
In February Mr Warren introduced a motion to parliament which included a request for the immediate removal of all non-air conditioned trains from the Sydney network.
MPs finally voted on the motion yesterday – with the majority rejecting the proposal following a heated debate.
“In Campbelltown where the summers are hotter, winters are colder and journeys are longer, every day commuters are forced to endure trains that are not air-conditioned,” Mr Warren said.
“If trains without air conditioning must be used, it is only fair that they are shared evenly across the network so that no particular region is burdened more so than any other.”
Mr Sidoti admitted said the government was in the “final stages” of making the entire Sydney fleet 100 per cent air conditioned.
But he did not address the concerns raised by Mr Warren.
“In 2011, the current government found that only 72 per cent of all timetabled services were air-conditioned. Today 97 per cent of all timetabled services are air-conditioned,” he said.
Labor’s Paul Scully (Wollongong) said in August 2014, Premier Gladys Berejiklian – then Transport Minister – declared “the days of sitting in a hot train in summer or a cold train in winter are over”.
“They are most certainly not over,” he said.
Liberal MP Mark Coure spruiked the service changes for Campbelltown commuters which are expected to begin later this year.
The changes will see direct services from Campbelltown to Parramatta and Blacktown cut. The government will add 20 more weekly services along the airport line to compensate however, Mr Warren told the Advertiser that demand would far outweigh supply.
Mr Coure said he was in Glenfield four weeks ago and he was reassured by locals the government were doing a good job.
“Every person walking past said to the member for Holsworthy (Melanie Gibbons) and to me, ‘Thank God you guys are in government. Thank God you guys are delivering for this state. Thank God you guys are delivering for south-west Sydney’,” he said.
Macquarie Fields MP Anoulack Chanthivong said in summer the trains were like “a crowded oven”.
“For too long commuters in south-west Sydney have suffered, especially in summer when temperatures soar,” he said.
Speaking after the vote, Mr Warren said he was disappointed the situation facing Campbelltown commuters wasn’t taken seriously.
“They talked about everything else apart from what the motion was about,” he said.
This article first appeared on www.camdenadvertiser.com.au
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