Thousands sign up for a better South Coast train service

More than 2000 people have signed a petition calling for an improved South Coast rail service. Picture: Robert Peet
More than 2000 people have signed a petition calling for an improved South Coast rail service. Picture: Robert Peet

Thousands of people have joined the push for better South Coast train services.

More than 2000 people signed a petition created by Thirroul resident Bronwyn Batten and promoted by the NSW Greens.

The petition, which was tabled in NSW Parliament on Thursday, called on the government to deal with overcrowding on the line and ensure that the new intercity fleet will not see a loss of seats.

While most South Coast trains heading to the city in the morning peak are usually packed by Sutherland or Hurstville, it’s those heading south just as the evening peak begins that draw the most complaints.

These trains are just four carriages and commuters claim they have to get on the train at least 10 minutes before it leaves Central to have any chance of getting a seat.

“Anyone who has travelled on the South Coast line knows the trains are chock-full,” said Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi.

“More carriages and services need to be added immediately, and the government needs to get on and build the Thirroul tunnel, which is the only way to make the train commute faster.”

Discussions around the Thirroul tunnel have been around for more than 60 years. Transport Minister Andrew Constance last year dismissed it “pixies at the bottom of the garden stuff”.

Opal statistics have shown as much as a 15 per cent increase in the number of people on South Coast trains.

The government has introduced measures designed to deal with crowding issues, including so-called U-stops where commuters can get off a train but not on it.

However, figures suggested that measure was not being enforced.

“It is unacceptable that commuters should have to stand for over an hour on the overcrowded four carriage services,” Ms Batten said.

“Every week I have to stand on four carriages on the 3:45pm from Hurstville to Thirroul.

“I want to see some action from our elected representatives to fix this.”

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