Southwest Sydney train services feeling the pinch with population boom

The 2013 train timetable shake-up is still playing havoc with many southwest Sydney commuters, four years down the track.

Changes designed to “detangle the network” and improve reliability on the Inner West, South and Western Lines instead reduced citybound services for customers at several stations.

Passengers between Carramar and Berala can no longer catch trains directly to the city from Liverpool – and the alternative method through Bankstown takes up to 13 minutes longer.

Roydon Ng from the Restore Inner West Line Community Action Group.

Restore the Inner West Line Community Action Group spokesman Roydon Ng said the changes had a knock-on effect for Fairfield commuters.

“Those commuters that used the route abolished in 2013 are now travelling via Fairfield – and that increases the pressure on those services,” Mr Ng said.

He said Sydney Trains needed to cater for increasing demand.

“Public transport demand is increasing constantly,” Mr Ng said.

“Every effort should be made to utilise the infrastructure that is already there, instead of compartmentalising commuters into certain sections of the train lines.”

Commuters arrive at Fairfield Railway Station, Fairfield, NSW, Australia, July 14, 2017. (AAP Photo/Melvyn Knipe)

Fairfield is not a priority for Transport for NSW, as it focuses on building the Sydney Metro.

The local population has grown by 12,000 since 2011 – and Transport for NSW has provided just 400 new train services and 39 new commuter car spaces in the local government area.

Fairfield state Labor MP Guy Zangari said the government had failed to provide for Fairfield ever-expanding population.

“It’s clear the needs of our community are not a priority for this Government,” Mr Zangari said.

Mr Zangari said the Government did not understand Fairfield’s unique transport needs – as diverse as the community itself.

“We still have commuters stuck without mobility-friendly access in Carramar, Yennora, Villawood and Canley Vale,” Mr Zangari said. “The existing services often struggle to keep up with the demand.”

Train strain has hit Fairfield commuters on the T5 Cumberland line.

Three early morning peak services between Campbelltown and Parramatta are over capacity by the time they reach Merrylands, forcing customers to stand.

The rush-hour crush comes as no surprise as Fairfield’s population has grown significantly by 12,000 people – from 187,766 in 2011 to 198,817 in 2016.

Read the full story at the Fairfield Advance (The Daily Telegraph):