More Illawarra rail car parking

Almost 100 rail staff parking spaces on the South Coast line will be returned to commuters under a NSW government plan.

Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said on Tuesday a total of 1200 spaces that could be returned had been identified across NSW.

On the South Coast line, 98 spaces will be returned to the public with Wollongong station boasting the lion's share of 38. The majority, 32, are on the western side of the station with many already available.

"The first 30 spaces have this week already been made available to customers, after 'staff only' signs and gates were removed," a Transport for NSW spokesman said.

He declined to say whether the spaces were used by rail staff or were excess to requirements.

The next highest number of returns in the region is seven, at Bomaderry, Port Kembla and Thirroul.

Parking has been a serious issue for locals at Thirroul since the introduction of the revised timetable in October last year.

With express trains stopping at Thirroul and Helensburgh only, commuters who used to catch a train from their local station, now go to those stations and park in the streets.

Thirroul area neighbourhood forum convener Stephen Kennard has been fighting for a car parking solution since October.

He said he wasn't impressed with the extra seven spaces at Thirroul, dismissing it as "a gesture".

"Those car park spaces are usually filled up with staff because they do staff training there," Mr Kennard said.

"So it's not going to make much difference to the number of spaces there."

He said another revamp to the timetable to add a few more stops would do more to alleviate the parking situation.

"There are car parks at Bulli and Austinmer and nobody's in them," he said.


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