Around 60 people attended the Whalan Community Hall last Saturday to tell their local NSW parliamentary representatives, Richard Amery, Alan Sheeran and Ray Williams, that they were unhappy about some of the changes to the Region 1 buses in the Mt Druitt area. The meeting was organsied by a new local action group called SOBS (Save Our Bus Services).
Like other areas in Western Sydney, it seems to be older people and people with mobility problems that can be badly effected by some of the changes in the Bus Network Review. Several people with serious medical conditions and disabilties told their stories about how they had organised their lives around knowing that they could catch the bus only to find it had now been taken away.
While some areas also celebrated the fruits of 10 years of lobbying which seems to have paid off in the Region 1 changes (Willmot was finally connected to Emerton) people in Whalan who had previously had the 755 come into their street to take them to Mt Druitt and Blacktown were now finding it too difficult to get to the new services which only run down the main roads - Woodstock, Luxford, Belmore and Popondetta - and no longer go to Blacktown.
The local MPs committed to approaching the NSW Transport and Infrastructure department to discuss the issues and to try and find ways to get services to the people who had been disadvantaged by the changes. They were unconvinced that they could get the 755 restored. That, however, was what people wanted.