Keolis Downer confirms changes are coming to new bus timetable
20th April 2018
This is what can be achieved when we tackle problems with possible solutions and we get everyone involved in the same room together.
The new bus timetables contained problems, particularly in the Cardiff South, Macquarie Hills and Speers Point areas. I’ve had a number of meetings with the operator Keolis Downer, the Minister and Transport officials, and we had meetings with those people directly affected and disadvantaged. I’m pleased to say that everyone has worked together ...on finding solutions and I think we’re close to achieving that.
We’ll wait until we see all the details of the proposed changes, but things are looking good and the Minister’s office has told me that much of what we proposed will be included when the timetable changes come into effect in June.
It’s good that changes will be made throughout the network including in the electorates of Swansea and Charlestown.
We’ll keep working and we’ll keep talking, but I have to thank the Minister and Keolis Downer for listening, and also thank those residents and bus users who have worked with me on finding solutions, particularly Dennis and Ursula Duncan from Cardiff South.
Here's how the Newcastle Herald reported the news:
Direct connections between eastern Lake Macquarie and two of the region’s major shopping and business hubs are among the changes Newcastle’s bus operator will introduce in July.
The Newcastle Herald can reveal that Keolis Downer will amend its new timetable – which has been the subject of public outcry in recent months – in response to community feedback.
Cardiff and Macquarie Hills will get a direct service to Kotara, as will south eastern Lake Macquarie with Charlestown.
Direct services between Swansea Heads, Charlestown and Newcastle CBD will also be added to the timetable.
Keolis Downer says it will improve bus services to The House With No Steps in Lambton – one of the region’s largest providers for people with a disability – and has also confirmed it is looking to improve connections between Cardiff South and Charlestown.
The changes come after vocal public backlash to the new timetable, which was introduced in January.
The reaction has included public protests, a community meeting at Belmont that drew about 1000 people and a petition that triggered a debate in state parliament.
Keolis Downer Hunter general manager Mark Dunlop said the changes would be introduced after scheduling, timetabling and engagement with staff, the union and other stakeholders.
“While the network is performing well overall, we know there are some connections that aren’t working,” he said.
“The refinements we’re implementing will address the bulk of customer feedback received on the new network since it was launched three months ago, with improved connections for Swansea, Mount Hutton, and east Lake Macquarie.
“Changes to the network need to be meticulously checked from a scheduling perspective and Newcastle Transport will also continue engaging with its staff and the union prior to the refinements going live.”
More information is expected to be released in June and new timetables will be available in July.