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Customer Outcome 9: Accessibility to employment and services

Greater Newcastle Future Transport Plan

Customer Outcome 9: Accessibility to employment and services

Accessibility to employment and services such as health, education, retail and cultural activities within regional cities and centres

The NSW Government recognises the importance of delivering high quality transport services to all customers. A set of three supporting plans for Future Transport 2056 will provide details about how we are improving the accessibility of transport services, infrastructure and products.

  • The first of these to be released is the Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2018 to 2022 which explains the achievements and forward actions that are improving access to transport services for people living with disability.
  • The ways in which our transport services will be tailored to better suit the needs of our older customers so they can maintain active and independent lives will be explained in an Older Persons Transport and Mobility Plan. This plan will set out actions that Transport for NSW will undertake to contribute to the state-wide goals of the NSW Ageing Strategy.
  • A Social Access Plan will explain ways to increase equitable transport access and reduce transport disadvantage, especially for Aboriginal communities. It has been developed with extensive community consultation throughout NSW and will provide guiding principles aimed at successfully connecting people to opportunities that promote social inclusion.

The continued expansion of the passenger network and services in Greater Newcastle will enable more people to access employment, services and cultural and recreational activities. New timetabling for Newcastle Transport came into effect in January 2018 that increased the frequency of bus and ferry services. Monitoring the success of these changes will inform future improvements to frequency and optimise bus routes along key corridors.

The procurement of the New Intercity Fleet will provide accessible rail carriages and the progressive rollout of the Transport Access Program will fund upgrading of rail stations along the rail corridors over the next ten years.

The Transport Access Program has enabled the upgrading of Newcastle’s wharves for people using essential mobility aids. Wheelchair accessible wharves have level or ramped access that allows independent access by a person using a manual wheelchair or walking aid. They are also accessible via electric wheelchairs or scooters when travelling with the help of a friend or carer.

New Intercity Fleet (NIF)

A new fleet of long distance, intercity trains from Sydney to the Central Coast, Newcastle, the Blue Mountains and the South Coast is on the way. The first of the double deck trains consisting of 500 new train carriages will be delivered in 2019 and the rest of the fleet will progressively follow. The new fleet will be serviced and maintained at a new purpose-built train maintenance facility being built at Kangy Angy on the Central Coast.

Some existing rail infrastructure also needs to be upgraded on the intercity network to accommodate the introduction of the NIF. This includes:

  • Platform extensions
  • Installation of CCTV, PA, lighting and station furniture, where required
  • Modifications to station platform edges
  • Modifications to infrastructure within the rail corridor, including the installation and relocation of signalling and overhead wiring structures
  • Re-positioning of rail tracks along parts of the rail corridor
  • The key benefits for customers from the introduction of the NIF are:
  • Wider, more spacious seats with arm rests
  • Battery charging facilities for mobile devices
  • Two by two seating for extra room and comfort
  • Dedicated spaces for luggage, prams, bicycles and wheelchairs
  • Improved accessibility including accessible toilets
  • Tray tables with cup holders
  • Improved customer information through digital information screens and announcements, CCTV and help points, and modern air conditioning.

The Country Passenger Transport Infrastructure Program Grants Scheme (CPTIGs) continues to fund regional local councils to deliver upgrades to bus stops to make them compliant with disability standards.

By 2056 improvements to the accessibility of the passenger transport network in NSW will aim to provide barrier free travel for everyone, regardless of age, ability or personal circumstances. This includes making trains, buses and ferries accessible for people who use mobility aids including wheelchairs, scooters, walking frames, prams and strollers, allowing them to safely board and travel on most buses, ferries and trains.


Providing subsidies for the construction or upgrade of bus stops in regional NSW

The CPTIGS provides subsidies to support the construction or upgrade of bus stop infrastructure generally owned and maintained by local councils across regional NSW. The Scheme aims to maximise benefits to country passengers through supporting:

  • More accessible passenger transport, including better connections between bus stops and surrounding communities
  • An increase in the use of passenger transport in country areas through improved awareness of bus stop locations, kerbside information and improved security
  • The development of minor infrastructure to complement passenger service development

Funding is allocated regionally to facilitate an equitable distribution of the grant support and projects. The funding is especially important in areas where there are higher proportions of older people and people with disability to help them use local public transport services.

Under the 2015/17 program the following grants have been approved:

  • Cessnock City Council – $100,000 to upgrade 15 bus shelters and construct seven new shelters.
  • Port Stephens Council – $130,300 to upgrade 73 shelters and construct 3 new shelters.
  • Maitland City Council – $144,000 to upgrade 57 shelters and construct 3 new shelters to comply with disability standards under the Disability Discrimination Act 1993.

For more information see Transport for NSW website

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The Future Transport 2056 Strategy is focused on six key principles for the future of mobility in the state, which together aim to positively impact the economy, communities and environment of NSW.

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