THE introduction of bus services from Tamworth to Newcastle, Port Macquarie and Dubbo will not come at the cost of plans for a major overhaul of the city’s train network, MP Kevin Anderson insists.
The Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Roads, Maritime and Freight is spearheading a proposal to better connect Tamworth with other regional centres by way of three new coach routes.
“Everybody is saying we need to look at better connectivity across regional NSW,” Mr Anderson said.
“I think this is key to opening up the inland.
“I put some options to people across the region, and took this to Transport NSW.”
Mr Anderson said the trial service “was definitely starting” on the back of a community consultation in Tamworth in December.
“We’ll trial the service, see if people use them,” Mr Anderson said.
“If people like it, it stays.”
Talks of increased coach services from Tamworth come after the state government announced a major overhaul of the regional rail network in August last year.
Deputy premier John Barilaro announced the construction of a train maintenance hub in Dubbo, as well as plans to replace the state’s regional train fleet, while Mr Anderson outlined his plans for a daily return service from Tamworth to Sydney and Newcastle, and a possible link to Dubbo.
Mr Anderson confirmed to The Leader this week that those plans were not off the table under the introduction of more coach services to those regions, and that new service would complement the existing XPLORER train services.
“This is not in place of anything,” Mr Anderson said.
“These are new, extra services.”
Transport NSW will hold its second community information session from 10am to 2pm on Saturday at Tamworth Square to allow the public to have a say on how often services should run, and what days and times are the most appropriate.