Four of the express stops in the Austinmer trial will become permanent next month

Changes to the South Coast timetable will see four of the 10 express train stops at Austimner become a permanent part of the line.

But it is changes on another line that may have a bigger benefit for Illawarra commuters.

In March, the government launched a three-month trial where five morning express trains and five in the evening would stop at Austinmer.

The trial was a bid to alleviate parking congestion in Thirroul.

From the 10 that were trialled, four will remain – the 6.10am, 6.50am and 7.31am services from Austinmer and the 4.46pm from Central.

On top of the pre-existing Austinmer stop the 5.46pm from Central made, that’s five express stops for the northern suburbs station.

“This is a tremendous victory for a community that has campaigned for better access to public transport,” Parliamentary Secretary for the South Coast Gareth Ward said.

Mr Ward said Transport for NSW had analysed the results of the trial to work out which Austinmer stops to retain.

“The evaluation of the trial included a comprehensive analysis of patronage data, customer feedback, car park usage and service reliability,” he said.

“We’ve looked closely at the data and it’s clear to see that the four express services that will be integrated into the timetable were more popular than the others.”

The addition of three services on the Illawarra line could see substantial improvements in crowding issues on South Coast trains.

Three extra all-stops trains to Hurstville will be added between 3.15pm and 3.45pm.

This has the potential to reduce the crowding on the 3.22pm and 3.54pm services to Kiama – both of which have been the subject of complains from commuters on the South Coast.

Commuters travelling to stations like Redfern or Hurstville have been catching these trains, leading to them being standing room only by the time they leave Central.

“These changes mean South Coast customers travelling south towards Kiama will benefit from more seats available to them as suburban customers switch to either the new Hurstville services or more direct services to Cronulla and Waterfall,” Mr Ward said.

These timetable changes will come into force on October 17.

Until then, the 10 trialled express stops at Austinmer will remain in the timetable.

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