Michael Johnsen MP, Member for Upper Hunter today announced that the Dungog community will enjoy better direct weekday connections to and from Newcastle, in a move that will help boost the local economy.
Mr Johnsen said the changes, starting in April next year, will see departure and arrival times for several weekday journeys moved to give customers greater flexibility when planning daytrips to and from Newcastle.
“This is a great win for our Dungog community, and it is something that both myself and our local community have been lobbying strongly for over the years,” Mr Johnsen said.
“The 10.29am service from Newcastle Interchange to Dungog will depart at 1.29pm instead, arriving in Dungog at approximately 2.50pm. In the afternoon, the 12.26pm Dungog to Newcastle Interchange service’s departure time will be shifted to 3.26pm, arriving at Newcastle at approximately 4.52pm.
“Not only our local residents, but also visitors from other areas wanted more options and greater flexibility in their travel and we’ve delivered for them.
“With a more even spread of services across the day, more customers will be attracted to public transport, bringing our communities closer than ever before and providing the spark we need to stimulate growth for local businesses.
“Importantly, Dungog customers travelling back from Newcastle will have an earlier return option, which will be a big plus, particularly for parents and students whose travel patterns aren’t usually aligned to a typical working day.
“This is a win for the Hunter region. The best part about this is that it shows what happens when people and governments work together. I am proud to be part of both a community that puts forward solutions to local issues, and a government that hears and acts on them.
“Transport planners have overcome a number of logistical challenges to achieve this, including coordinating with freight train operators, an essential part of our local economy, which share a single track with other passenger trains.
“The NSW Transport Ministry and their planners have worked hard to deliver improvements that our local Dungog community feel passionate about, and which the Nationals in Government have worked hard to achieve on the community’s behalf,” Mr Johnsen concluded.
The changes when introduced will result in the 2.10pm Newcastle-bound service that starts from Telarah to be required to start at Maitland instead.