Bypassing Erskineville

Friends of Erskineville president Darren Jenkins said locals are often unsure if they will be able to board overcrowded trains at peak periods. Source: Ryan Quinn

Friends of Erskineville president Darren Jenkins said locals are often unsure if they will be able to board overcrowded trains at peak periods. Source: Ryan Quinn

Inner West Independent: Bypassing Erskineville July 23, 2015

More than 100 angered Erskineville residents have united at the suburb’s town hall to end uncertainty over the future of trains to Erskineville and St Peters stations.

Friends of Erskineville President Darren Jenkins addressed the meeting, held on Tuesday July 14, and discussed the government’s plans to bypass the two stations already in need of more services.

“Sydney Metro’s plans have pointedly refused to rule out the possibility that we will have fewer services when Sydney Metro is introduced,” he said.

A recent survey conducted by Sydney Trains shows that morning peak services stopping at Erskineville are overloaded at 167% capacity.

“I’m regularly amongst locals who stand on the train platform unsure whether we are even going to be able to get into the train,” Mr Jenkins said.

Erskineville’s population is also set to grow by 6,000 over the next five to ten years, according to City of Sydney data, differing from Sydney Trains data which only quotes an increase of 1,000 people, according to Mr Jenkins.

He said that in light of this difference, he didn’t have confidence in the government’s ability to make decisions about public transport in areas of population growth.

Ecotransit co-convenor Mathew Hounsell also questioned capacity figures quoted for the new single-decker Metro trains when compared with the current double-decker Sydney Trains fleet.

“When they say it’s 40,000 people [per hour], what they’re doing is quoting the 1300 crush-capacity, where everyone is literally physically crammed into the Metro,” Mr Hounsell said.

“The underground Metro actually can hold 900 per car.”

Federal NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said the government were using inaccurate claims to support the Metro.

“They’re making out that there will be more people being able to travel on something half the size,” Ms Rhiannon said.

The organisation invited attendees to sign an online petition calling for Transport Minister Andrew Constance, who was absent at the meeting, to guarantee more services.