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The biggest overhaul of Sydney’s rail timetable in four years has resulted in more frequent trains for Parramatta commuters but for many others in western Sydney it means longer trips.
Transport bosses said more than 1500 train services had been added to the network from Sunday, including 250 express trains from Parramatta to the city.
But passengers in Granville, Harris Park, Auburn and Lidcombe complain they have been left stranded under the new timetable, with fewer trains stopping at their stations.
Granville state Labor MP Julia Finn said she had already collected hundreds of signatures as part of a petition to reverse the changes.
Julia Finn and Jodi McKay at Granville station following the timetable change announcement.She said the timetable changes were an example of the suburb coming off “second best”.
“The government can find the money to build a tunnel under Sydney Harbour but the new timetable suggests the government can’t be bothered to provide adequate train services to Granville,” she said.
“Not only is the Berejiklian government making residents’ lives harder with the timetable changes they have targeted our area with motorway tolls.”
Under the changes T1 Western Line trains no longer stop at Granville from 6am to 10pm on weekdays and travel times to Town Hall have increased from 31 minutes to 43 minutes.
Ms Finn said this was an increase of 15 minutes on what it was five years ago.
Lidcombe Train Station Sydney Train's with extra help staff on as of the timetable changes. Picture: Darren Leigh RobertsTransport Minister Andrew Constance said commuters having to switch trains was part of life in a rapidly growing city and would be helped by the frequency of services.
“(It) does mean for some people having to interchange for the first time,” he said.
“That’s part of a growing city. Across the world in global cities people are having to interchange and Sydney’s no different in that regard.”
Sydney Trains executive director Tony Eid said Granville station had been “over-serviced” in the past.
Lidcombe Train Station Luke Foley handing out flyers about STOP local train cuts, asking to sign the petition. Picture's Darren Leigh Roberts“We didn’t have the hard data before to show the commuter patterns,” Mr Eid said. “The Opal data shows that the Penrith train through to Central is 150 per cent full by the time it gets to Parramatta, so those people at Granville and Lidcombe can’t get on the train anyway.
“In places that we overserviced before, like Granville, the trains have been changed in this new timetable.
“They may get one or two trains less but this is mapped up against supply and demand.”
Mr Eid said the new timetable was one of the largest remodels ever attempted by Sydney Trains.
“I think everyone has their pattern and their rhythm so it might take a few days for people to adjust,” he said.
This article first appeared on www.dailytelegraph.com.au
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