Neighbourhood Forum 3 Thirroul Transport Committee
22nd July 2015
Increased Travel times, parking saturation, businesses damaged
The true cost of a faster commute from Wollongong has hit home, or rather, the northern suburbs. As express trains no longer stop at Bulli and Austinmer, commuters from here either spend an extra 22 minutes a day in transit or drive to Thirroul to catch the express. This led to most parking within 500 metres of Thirroul Stations filling up by 8am. This is detrimental to local traders. Two have already moved on.
The Government’s solution is to build a car park around 500 metres away across Lawrence Hargrave Drive. On Friday 17th July Mr Gareth Ward, Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra walked with TTC from Thirroul station to the new carpark and back in the cold and wet weather and discussed the construction and positioning of the new car park in Church Street. It was shown by example that walking time from the new car park will add an additional 15 minutes to the commuters daily travel time.
Gareth agreed with the figures from the Thirroul Transport Committee (TTC) and its recommendation that most of the parking problems in Thirroul can be fixed by introducing express services that alternately stop at Bulli/Thirroul then Thirroul/Austinmer. Gareth then asked for a list of other recommendations as follows;
A pedestrian path/tunnel be built from the car park under the road bridge to prevent those running late from risking serious injury by crossing Lawrence Hargrave Drive near the bridge instead of using the pedestrian lights.
Use Waterfall Station as the express interchange station instead of Helensburgh. Many commuters feel unsafe when waiting for trains late at night at Helensburgh as it is remote from both local housing and the highway. Waterfall has better road links, parking facilities, disabled access and links directly with the Sydney city network.
Investigate the speeding up of the trains now that concrete sleepers have been installed.
Place 2 hour parking zones with resident exceptions within 500 metres of the Station.
Stop treating feeder train users like cattle by dropping them off on platform 3 and expecting them to hurry over the bridge to platform 1. Please drop them off where the express stops.
For additional parking, please hand over to Wollongong City Council the vacant land between the Railway and Gibson Park.
Build an 80 metre bus lane to link Wrexham Road to Railway Street as planned. This would allow a rail/bus interchange at Thirroul station.
Separate the feeder train into two services, one north to Helensburgh and one south to Port Kembla.
Mr Ward agreed to present a list of recommendations from the TTC to the Minister for Transport Mr Andrew Constance. TTC will also present its list of recommendations to the Shadow minister for Transport Mr Ryan Park.