Family stranded on NYE as shuttle bus stops

Sam (left), Tony, Kristy and Annalise Regan. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

Sam (left), Tony, Kristy and Annalise Regan. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

Standing at a bus stop waiting for a lift that would never come was not the way the Regan family had hoped to spend New Year’s Eve.

Tony and Kristy and children Annalise, 12, and Sam, 8, found themselves stranded in North Wollongong when the Gong Shuttle abruptly stopped running minutes after the popular fireworks display ended.

Wollongong City Council have apologised to the family and a spokeswoman said the issue will be reviewed.

As recommended on the event flyer, the Regan family chose to avoid the city’s traffic chaos by catching the Gong Shuttle from Fairy Meadow to Belmore Basin.

They had an incredible night and thoroughly enjoyed the fireworks and entertainment at the family-friendly event.

As soon as the fireworks ended they headed to the Gong Shuttle stop near the Novotel Northbeach and watched on as three crowded buses passed them by.

They waited at the stop for almost an hour finally deciding at 11pm to start walking to their car, parked at Fairy Meadow.

Unable to flag down a taxi, they made the long trek on foot.

‘‘Along the way we encountered lots of drunks, which, with an eight and 12-year-old child is not a comfortable situation to be in,’’ Mrs Regan said. 

‘‘I guess it’s just really disappointing when the council are promoting that service and the service stops before the crowds have been dealt with.’’

Mrs Regan said she visited council yesterday and spoke with one of the event organisers, who was very receptive to her concerns and feedback.

She urged council to review their transport recommendations for future big events.

A Wollongong City Council spokeswoman said there had been increased Gong Shuttle services in place on the night, with buses running every 10 minutes until 10pm.

‘‘We’re sorry to hear this family had difficulty and this is certainly something we’ll talk about in debrief to discuss the issue.

‘‘Other adjustments may be needed for future years.’’


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