Two of three trial coach services connecting Tamworth to other regional centres will continue to operate into 2019, with customer numbers growing since they began earlier this year.
The trials connecting Tamworth to Dubbo and Tamworth to Port Macquarie were showing positive signs and will be extended through until at least March 2019.
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said these new links have provided public transport where there was no existing service, bringing communities closer together and saving people significant time.
“Not only will the remaining services be retained, they will be enhanced to provide more effective connections for the passengers,” he said.
Following customer feedback, the coach service from Tamworth to Dubbo on Mondays and Fridays will leave 20 minutes later to link with the morning south bound train from Moree at Gunnedah.
“Moving the time of the coach by just 20 minutes will open up convenient travel to Dubbo and other towns across the west for communities such as Moree and Narrabri,” Mr Anderson said.
The trial between Tamworth and Dubbo operates in each direction on Mondays and Fridays.
“I emphasized at the start of the trials that these services were a case of ‘use it or lose it’ and it is good to see that two of the three services have received enough support from the community for those trials to continue,” Mr Anderson said.
“The coaches linking Tamworth to Port Macquarie and Dubbo have grown in popularity and NSW TrainLink is confident they have the potential to become permanent services.
The coach services that have provided an extra link between Tamworth and Newcastle on a trial basis are not being extended.Tamworth MP, Kevin Anderson
“Customers can travel from Tamworth to Port Macquarie in each direction on Mondays. To help promote weekend travel there is an afternoon service from Tamworth to Port Macquarie on Friday, which returns to Tamworth on Sunday afternoons.
“The coach services that have provided an extra link between Tamworth and Newcastle on a trial basis are not being extended because of low demand and the last service will be operated on Friday 16 November 2018.
“While there was much interest in an extra connection to Newcastle during consultation with the community, the service has been running for seven months now and demand has continued to be low.
“With the end of the trial coach service, NSW TrainLink will be continuing to operate daily train services between Tamworth and Sydney via Newcastle,” Mr Anderson said.
The timetable change for the service from Tamworth to Dubbo will be introduced from Monday December 3.
Just under 3,000 customer journeys were taken in the first six months of the trials over all three services from March 12, 2018.