Shuttles buses: possible Thirroul train station parking solution

Candice-Anne Heine,  Lee Evans and neighbourhood convener Stephen Kennard at Tuesday night’s meeting about  train timetables. Pictures: ROBERT PEET

Candice-Anne Heine, Lee Evans and neighbourhood convener Stephen Kennard at Tuesday night’s meeting about train timetables. Pictures: ROBERT PEET

Heathcote MP Lee Evans flagged the possible use of shuttle buses to ease parking woes around Thirroul station, at a public meeting on Tuesday night.

The meeting was organised by the neighbourhood forum in the wake of ongoing parking problems locals claim are caused by the new rail timetable introduced last October.

The change turned Thirroul and Helensburgh into "hub" stations for many peak-hour trains, which no longer stopped at other stations.

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The result was that commuters living at those other stations chose to drive to Thirroul or Helensburgh to catch a train, leaving their cars parked in the suburban streets all day.

Mr Evans told the 40- to 50-strong meeting of local residents that the government was considering the idea of running shuttle buses between Helensburgh and Thirroul stations, but stressed that it was in the "embryo stage".

"The idea is that there will be buses constantly in those peak hours," Mr Evans said.

"Again, this is still up for negotiations, we're not signed off on it yet but I understand it's going well. We're trying to sign off on it by December. If it goes ahead there will be contracts in place by December."

At the meeting Mr Evans and NSW Trains regional general manager Candice-Anne Heine heard a range of residents' complaints.

These included the difficulty in using their own driveways due to cars parked on the roads, safety concerns for those getting off at Helensburgh at night and having to wait for a connecting service and the possibility of building a multi-storey car park.

Mr Evans said he wasn't a fan of building a multi-storey car park.

"The alternative of putting in multi-storey car parking, [that] will ruin the village atmosphere in Thirroul," he said.

Mr Evans said there was no line in the rail network that had received more complaints about the new timetable than the South Coast line.

He said he had "thousands" of letters - those from residents and the replies from himself and the department - in his electorate office.

There is a review of the timetable planned for October and Mr Evans said there could be room for some "tweaking".

He said there were two big hurdles for the South Coast line. Firstly, it was effectively a "cul-de-sac" line, compared to the loops on others, which means every train that comes out during the morning rush has to come in the night before.

Also, the timetable sees all trains in the network enter the inner-city system at Wolli Creek, so any large-scale additions of train stops would necessitate a reworking of the time "slot" that those trains fit into at Wolli Creek.

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