State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, yesterday moved a Notice of Motion in the NSW Parliament, calling on the Government to increase the amount of security on Newcastle public transport.
Drivers and passengers right across the Hunter have been calling for improved safety conditions for years but those calls have fallen on deaf ears.
In recent years, the number of assaults on drivers has increased dramatically, with drivers being verbally assaulted, spat on or physically attacked.
The Notice of Motion notes plans by Keolis Downer to hire compliance officers to crack down on fare evasion on the public transport system in Newcastle and calls on the Minister for Transport to increase the amount of security on Newcastle public transport.
Quotes attributable to Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery
“This Notice of Motion is an opportunity for the Government to show their support for our bus drivers and passengers and help ensure that they are safe when travelling on our transport system.”
“Drivers and passengers are concerned for their safety and assaults have increased dramatically in the last few years.”
“When you talk to drivers and passengers, their biggest concerns are the lack of transit police on their buses.”
“The lack of transit officers encourages anti-social behavior and this is especially true on late night services, when you have people who might have been taking drugs or drinking heavily, crammed onto services without oversight—they think they can get away with anything.”
“It’s such a shame that this Government has allowed security to slacken so noticeably in recent years.”
“I call on the Government to work with the new private transport provider to make sure we have a safe public transport system for everyone to use.”