BOMBALA residents will benefit from improved public bus services in the Snowy Mountains.
The route of the return NSW TrainLink – formerly CountryLink – coach service from Bombala will be changed to run via Jindabyne and Berridale.
This will allow Snowy Mountains residents to travel to Cooma and back on the same day to access local services.
The new service is scheduled to start on June 30.
It will run initially as a one-year trial and will continue indefinitely if the demand is anywhere near as strong as the government anticipates.
The coach will depart Dalgety for Cooma and Canberra at 7.48am from outside Buckley’s Crossing Hotel and return at 3pm.
At Jindabyne it will depart at 8.20am from outside the Visitor Information Centre and return at 2.26pm.
At Berridale the coach will stop at Lion Park at 8.48am and return at 2.02pm.
The announcement was made by the Member for Monaro, John Barilaro, last Friday.
Mr Barilaro said the breakthrough came 11 years after it was promised by the former state Labor government.
He said the service was long overdue and badly needed.
“This is a wonderful day for the people of the Snowy Mountains and is the culmination of many months of campaigning,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Securing this service for the Snowy Mountains has been a top transport priority of mine and I’m delighted the NSW government has agreed to approve it.”
It will also provide connections with train services at Canberra Station.
The service will run three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with stops at Berridale, Jindabyne and Dalgety.
Mr Barilaro said the former Labor Member for Monaro, Steve Whan, promised to work towards securing this bus service 11 years ago when he was first elected to represent the region in the NSW Parliament.
“Steve Whan was prepared to allow his two terms to pass by without action on this promise,” said Mr Barilaro.
“This government is showing it won’t let customers down when comes to securing better services for this electorate.”
“Hundreds of survey responses, dozens of submissions and many, many meetings have concluded with this breakthrough,” said Mr Barilaro.
“The communities of the Snowy Mountains have really supported my campaign in a big way, with their help I’ve been able to submit an extremely convincing case to the Minister that she simply couldn’t say no to.
“I’d like to thank the community for their ongoing support and assistance in pushing for this vital service.”
Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian outlined that the public bus service, the first of its kind in the region, will unlock many social and economic benefits for local residents.
The service will be fully accessible for customers who use wheelchairs.
To plan journeys on the new NSW TrainLink service, visit nswtrainlink.info, call 132 232 or visit a NSW TrainLink travel centre.