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Review sparks rally

Annastacia Palaszczuk and Lynette Colburn with upset residents who are starting a petition to stop bus cuts. Photo: Inga Williams / The Satellite
Annastacia Palaszczuk and Lynette Colburn with upset residents who are starting a petition to stop bus cuts. Photo: Inga Williams / The Satellite Inga Williams

DISGRUNTLED south-west commuters are preparing to rally against changes to several bus services under the State Government's transport review.

Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson ordered the review last year after figures showed patronage dropping and costs rising.

But Member for Inala Annastacia Palaszczuk said more than 1300 commuters had slammed the review and signed an online petition to save more than a dozen routes.

She expected a large crowd to voice concerns at a rally to be held at Corsair Ave, Inala this Saturday, March 23.

"For Inala residents, this means losing a high-frequency route 100 bus into the city, a bus which currently leaves every 10 minutes in peak," she said.

"The review has also recommended removing the 122 which goes from QEII Hospital to Griffith University and the 460 which goes through Richlands to Mt Ommaney."

Richlands Councillor Milton Dick worried the review would leave commuters confused, stranded and unable to use Brisbane's bus network.

He said the review would push commuters off buses and onto the already overcrowded train network.

"Low socio-economic and disadvantaged areas seem to be the hardest hit with bus services being ripped from suburbs and replaced by routes in the inner city," he said.

"I'm furious that locals in Inala will have to wait longer and longer for a bus just to get to their appointments and jobs.

"We're seeing heavily relied upon services being axed and shorter and more confusing routes take their place.

"In Inala, bus linkages to hospitals and universities have been cut making it harder, more expensive and time consuming to access these essential community places.

"This is one of the most disadvantaged communities in Brisbane and the most affected by this review."

Commuter Carroll Weaver said she couldn't see the sense in cutting services at Inala.

"This is a step back in time," she said.

"It's going to be how it was ten years ago when you couldn't get out of Inala."

Transport Minister Scott Emerson said his plan was to deliver a more efficient network with a focus on high frequency service. "Mt Ommaney will become a major public transport hub under proposed changes to south-east Queensland's bus network," he said.

"The area will go from having no high-frequency services to two under the Newman Government plan to build a high-frequency network.

"Under the new network, there will be high-frequency routes from Mt Ommaney to the CBD City via Indooroopilly and another from Forest Lake to Mt Ommaney and Riverhills."

Rail Back on Track spokesman Robert Dow welcomed the review and its focus on connection based bus networks.

He said it was cost effective, efficient and avoided flooding the CBD with buses, giving residents of the Centenary suburbs greatly improved services for the first time.

"In brief, more people can get frequent, reliable and faster service with connections than without them," he said.

The full report, including proposed route changes is available at www.translink.com.au.

Commuters can provide feedback until Monday, March 25 while service changes will be phased in from mid-year until the end of 2014.

Topics:  bus cuts, bus routes, transport


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