PRESSURE is mounting on TrainLink to reinstate Bombala’s original bus timetable with angry residents taking up a petition to send to Member for Monaro, John Barilaro.
Copies of the petition are at the bakery, newsagent and Cosmo Cafe in Bombala and the Rural Transaction Centre in Delegate.
Maureen Peisley said Bombala and Delegate passengers had “no problem” with Jindabyne residents having a bus service – but not at their expense.
“Bombala and Delegate passengers have no problem with Jindabyne folk having a coach service, I told them so last Monday when I did the first trip, but not at the expense of Bombala’s senior citizens, who have to be present at the bus stop at 6.40am ready to depart at 6.50am,” Mrs Peisley said.
“I’m 78 in November, and I had to walk there in the dark, hoping I wouldn’t trip on something,” she said.
She suggested a small bus for Bombala passengers which could go direct to Cooma where it could then meet the Jindabyne coach.
Mrs Peisley said some petitions were already circulating in the region but unfortunately they were not on the correct forms and would not be accepted for tabling in parliament.
The new, correct, petitions were now available and she urged people to sign these.
“We must do it correctly,” she said.
Meanwhile, Bombala Mayor, Bob Stewart, believes the changes to the region’s bus services are driving passengers away.
Cr Stewart said the changes have left Bombala passengers, particularly the elderly, disadvantaged.
“The impact that the changes are having on the elderly is unfair and I am very disappointed,” Cr Stewart said.
“I believe they should be addressing the issue rather than driving patronage away from the service.
“The changes have been very unfair, especially to implement them without consultation to users.”
“I have voiced my opinion and my concerns to John Barilaro about the service.
“I am disappointed with the lack of consultation and I think we should be able to work on a compromise,” Cr Stewart said.
NSW TrainLink Spokesperson Veronica Fardell said the service would be continually monitored throughout the trial period.
“The trial extension of this service means Jindabyne will have a public transport connection it previously lacked,” Ms Fardell said.
“It also provides an opportunity for customers from Bombala to undertake local journeys by public transport to Dalgety, Jindabyne and Berridale.
“NSW TrainLink will monitor patronage and customer feedback on the new route to gauge whether there is enough interest in the service for it to run permanently,” she said.
“It’s even earlier for people living in Bendoc and Delegate.”
Before the changes to the timetable, which came into operation on July 1, the bus departed Bombala at 8.05am.
“Today, while sorting through old paperwork, I found a little handout received through the mail from John Barilaro, which states ‘John Barilaro is getting the job done for Bombala and Delegate’,” she said.
“I say, ‘Please John, will you hear our plea, we need your help’,” she said.