Berejiklian Government Fails Again On Trains

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The announcement by the Berejiklian Government of the mass cancellation of Sydney train services is an indictment of its management of public transport.

Transport Minister Andrew Constance has announced that from Thursday 25 January to Sunday 28 January, “Trains will run to a significantly reduced timetable”.

More than 1,000 train services are being cancelled because the Government can’t rely on drivers working the overtime it needs.

This is a stark admission by Minister Constance that he is only able to run the train network by relying on massive amounts of overtime.

The Berejiklian Government simply does not have the number of drivers required to run the new timetable. 

It is relying on drivers continually working massive amounts of overtime which could lead to fatigue and cause significant safety issues.

The Government rushed in its new timetable before it had the correct number of drivers to make it work.

Earlier this month the impact of underinvestment in the timetable was felt when the network experienced chaos and train commuters faced lengthy delays and cancellations.

NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley has previously called on the Premier and Transport Minister to suspend the timetable until more drivers and trains are put on to deliver the seven-week old timetable.

Quotes attributable to NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley

This confirms the system is running on empty, that the State Government can only run a train network on the goodwill of drivers.

“This is not the way to run a train system and frankly this shows that this government has failed to invest in essential public services such as trains. I don’t want to travel on a train driven by somebody who could be severely fatigued by working massive amounts of overtime.

“Forty year-old non air-conditioned S-Set trains have been taken out of mothballs and pressed back into service to meet the demands of its new timetable.

“The Berejiklian Government believes it is more important to spend $2.5 billion on stadiums than on delivering essential public services.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Transport Jodi McKay

“Hundreds of thousands of commuters were made to suffer the shambolic meltdowns of Sydney’s rail system in December and early January because of this Government’s lack of investment in the train network.

“The State Government rolled out a new timetable that could not be delivered in practice.

“The Transport Minister has lost control of the railways and lost the confidence of the train-travelling public.”