On Saturday November 13, the Policy Forum of the WSPTU met to make some important decisions. Members representing public transport users groups in Liverpool, Bankstown, Fairfield, Parramatta, The Hills, Mt Druitt, Penrith and the Blue Mountains attended. The following are the main ideas that the WSPTU has decided to promote over the next year and during the upcoming State election.
A full policy discussion paper will be developed soon and released showing the full Policy Forum discussions on these topics.
1. Local Integrated Transport.
Including Community Transport and Health Related Transport.
WSPTU asks that Transport NSW research ways to improve access to the public transport system for older people, people with young children and people who have difficulties walking to the nearest transport pick-up point. WSPTU says that this research should include recommendations about the role that community transport, taxis and other models of flexible transport can play to solve this problem; the problem of the 'accessibility gap'.
On a related topic, WSPTU says that many people are having difficulty getting to medical appointments and regular treatments. WSPTU says that the current system that helps people to get to their appointments and treatments - often called “Health Related Transport” - needs to be improved and made coherent. WSPTU believes that a system for ‘Local Integrated Transport’ may have an important part to play in helping with this problem.
2. Bus Stops
WSPTU asks that all Local Governments report publicly about the state of the bus stops in their area: what proportion of stops have a shelter and seating, are connected to the walkways and meet the Disability Standards for accessibility. WSPTU members are particularly concerned about getting improved signage and timetable information at bus stops and interchanges.
WSPTU also says that all Local Governments should have a transparent financial accounting process for their spending on bus stops and associated infrastructure so people can see what is being done and what is being spent on bus stops.
3. The Cumberland Line
WSPTU asks that Transport NSW investigate the latent demand existing for the increased use of the Cumberland Line and the possibilities that the Cumberland Line offers to relieve congestion in peak hour inter-urban trains between Penrith and Parramatta as well as providing valuable cross regional connections between Penrith, Blacktown, Parramatta, Holroyd, Fairfield, Liverpool and Campbelltown.