NOT EVERYONE will benefit from the new public transport network set to be rolled out on the Gold Coast next Monday, with fears the new changes will leave employees and school students stranded and unable to get home.
Member for Gaven Dr Alex Douglas MP has formally requested the State Transport Minister make last minute changes to the new bus timetables at Nerang before students return to school later this month, when the full impact of the new changes would become apparent.
“My office has received a barrage of complaints from people upset with the new services which will finish mid-afternoon and won’t run at weekends,” Mr Douglas said.
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“Translink is advertising the new services as a transformation on the Gold Coast, but for many people trying to get home from work or school or out at the weekends, there is no service.”
One father whose young child finishes school only minutes before the last bus leaves Nerang State School said he was worried about how kids would get home.
Another Clearwater mother said her children at St Michael’s College in Merrimac, wouldn’t be able to get home after school as the bus wasn’t running at that time.
“New timetables and services starting on the Gold Coast next Monday see the final services for the day to Clearwater and Dugandan Street leave Nerang State School at 2.39pm and 3.04pm, clearly too early to take students home at the end of the school day,” Mr Douglas said.
“The last service on route 749 leaving the school for Dugandan St, Nerang, is at 3.04 pm, allowing little time margin for young children meeting the service, and compromising the safety of children if they fail to meet this tight timetable.”
Services will stop mid-afternoon in Dugandan Street, Mclaren Road and Clearwater, leaving residents to use expensive taxis or walk after 3.14pm during the week or on the weekends when there simply are no services.
Spencer Road and part of Lawrence Drive, Cozens Way, Jabiluka Drive, Hamersley Way and parts of Explorers Way, Billabirra Crescent loop, Crusader Way and Short St, Nerang, will no longer be serviced.
Mr Douglas said this was an attack on public transport users.
“Commuters using services along Birmingham Rd on my electorate boundary will no longer be able to catch direct services to Pacific Fair, but will need to walk to Nerang-Broadbeach Rd to catch the 745 service,” he said.
“Sadly I think this will be the beginning of the end of public transport services for those people not using trunk services.”
Along with the changes to bus routes and timetables, Gold Coast train services will also receive a shake up.
The new network will introduce 93 additional train services on the Gold Coast line each week, with services to run every 7-15 in the morning and afternoon peaks.