State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, will today debate a Notice of Motion calling on the Minister for Transport to come to the Wallsend electorate and see first-hand the problems commuters are facing with the new Newcastle bus service.
Hundreds of calls and emails have been received by Ms Hornery’s office, but earlier this year the Minister told Parliament that he hadn’t heard a single complaint about the new service.
Ms Hornery will raise the concerns again today and ask the Minister to sit down with commuters in Wallsend, have a coffee and listen to what they have to say.
Quotes attributable to Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery
“Starting in July last year, when this Government shrugged off its responsibility to deliver public transport in Newcastle, residents of Wallsend experienced a sharp drop off in the quality of bus services.”
“Services were cancelled without warning, leaving commuters and school kids stranded.”
“When the new routes and timetables were rolled out at the beginning of the year, there was widespread confusion amongst both passengers and drivers. Services people had come to rely on to get to work or appointments or social events disappeared.”
“Overnight, my office was inundated with complaints. Every one of those complaints was forwarded to the Minister for Transport and to the private provider within days of my office receiving them.”
“Now don’t get me wrong, Newcastle bus services needed to be updated. There were changes that needed to be made, and not all of the new routes or new timetables should be thrown out. Some improvements were made.”
“But it is simply not good enough that there was such limited consultation before the changes were rolled out. It is not good enough that the concerns of Wallsend residents and commuters have been ignored.”
“This is why I am calling on the Minister to visit Wallsend, sit down with commuters and listen to what they have to say. I assure you, Minister, you have an open invitation to grab a cup of coffee on Nelson Street with me. We can have a chat, you can speak to some of the locals and get a feel for the community.”
“We are very welcoming in Wallsend.”