Member for Hawkesbury Dominic Perrottet has responded to recently announced changes to the Sydney Trains timetable, saying they were “a great outcome” for Hawkesbury commuters.
The changes to the timetable, which will come into effect later this year, will mean Hawkesbury commuters on the Richmond line travelling to and from the city will have to change trains late at night on weekdays and early in the mornings on weekends at Parramatta.
During these time periods, customers travelling between Marayong and Richmond will benefit from improved service frequency, with a T5 Cumberland Line train every 30 minutes rather than having to wait one hour between services as they do today.
"Overall, this announcement means the vast majority of people in the Hawkesbury will experience shorter train travel times - that's a great outcome,” Mr Perrottet said.
"Direct services to and from the CBD will continue in the most popular travel times, and in the times where commuters are required to change trains, the number of services between Marayong and Richmond will be doubled.
"Managing train services always requires balancing the interests of all commuters, and I am always open to hearing feedback from Hawkesbury commuters about ways we can improve our services."
A NSW Transport spokesperson said that currently around 85 per cent of customers travelling west of Blacktown late at night are travelling towards Penrith.
“In order to provide more services for these customers, T1 Western Line customers on the Richmond branch west of Blacktown, travelling to and from Sydney CBD will be required to change trains at Parramatta during these times.
“Changing trains at Parramatta will be the same platform and the wait time will be minimised.
“While some journeys may be slightly longer, this is all about meeting the needs of the majority of our customers and gearing up for the future.
“We’re still finalising the remaining aspects of the timetable and further information will be made available to customers well in advance.”
With the T1 Western Line under the greatest strain from overcrowding, the state government unveiled plans for about 250 express trains each week between Parramatta and the CBD on that link, which includes 20 during peak hours.
Sydney Trains will also start a new direct link between the inner west and Parramatta on the T2 Line on weekdays. Inner-west services to Sydney's CBD will run as frequently as every six minutes during peak periods.
The other major changes to the Western and Inner West lines – some of the busiest on the city's overstretched network – include a doubling of late-night services between the CBD and Penrith on the T1 Line.