State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, has cast doubt on figures provided in a an answer to a Question on Notice by the Minister for Transport on the number of bus services cancelled by private bus operator, Keolis Downer.
In the response provided by the Minister, only 0.1% of services were cancelled in July and 0.6% of services were cancelled in August. In the 2015/16 Annual Report published by Newcastle Buses, a total of 8345 services were provided every week. Based on those figures a total of 8 services in July and 50 in August were cancelled.
This is at odds with the previous public statements by the CEO of Keolis Downer, Campbell Mason, who when questioned about the 300 services cancelled in the first 10 weeks of operations, stated ‘that the figures seemed about right’.
Quotes attributable to Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery
“Questions on Notice are a way for Members of Parliament to get information about issues in their electorate.”
“I asked the Minister how many services had been cancelled in July and August by Keolis Downer.”
“It is obvious that the Minister for Transport is either not telling the truth or is not being provided with the correct information.”
“The Keolis Downer CEO has publicly agreed that more than 300 services were cancelled in the first 10 weeks of operation, a figure backed up by workers and by the number of complaints to MPs offices.”
“Yet the Minister for Transport, in his answer to my Question on Notice, has said that around 58 services were cancelled across Newcastle.”
“The Minister promised us a world class transport system in the Hunter but can’t seem to get his figures correct.”
“The Minister needs to look into this further and tell the public the truth about the number of services that have been cancelled.”
A link to the Ministers answer https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/la/papers/pages/qanda-tracking-details.aspx?pk=236763