Seeing some express trains to and from Sydney stop at Bulli station would be possible, according to a submission to a NSW government inquiry.
The government is looking into the issue of commuter car parks and the idea of making Bulli an express stop was part of a submission from University of Wollongong academic and transport expert Associate Professor Philip Laird.
The Bulli stop has been suggested in the past, particularly because the station’s 53-space car park is underused.
“Local people have also asked for the odd commuter express train to stop at Bulli – a station with lifts and platforms long enough for eight-car OSCAR trains,” Dr Laird wrote in his submission.
“This should be possible for Sydney-bound trains given the few minutes of timetable slack that sometimes results in trains waiting at Helensburgh.”
However a Transport for NSW spokesman said a stop at Bulli wasn’t on the cards.
“There are no plans to slow down the express service by adding an additional stop which would require a timetable rewrite due to the complex nature of the South Coast infrastructure,” the spokesman said.
Dr Laird also criticised the 2013 timetable revamp that made Thirroul a hub station for express services, calling it “a textbook example” of how to make timetable changes without considering parking implications.
“The impact on streets near the Thirroul railway station was significant,” Dr Laird said.
“In turn, the pressure on parking adversely affected some retailers in Thirroul.”
According to Transport for NSW, the trial of an extra stop at Austinmer for selected express services did see more people using that station’s car park.
However it did not lead to an easing of the parking situation around Thirroul station.
“We know that Thirroul Station is a major hub for customers travelling on the South Coast Line and that’s why in 2015 we delivered a new commuter car park as part of the Transport Access Program,” the Transport for NSW spokesman said.