Londonderry MP Prue Car has accused the state government of a “secret plan” to push commuters onto toll roads, following reports it’s set to slash express train services in western Sydney.
The allegation comes after the ABC reported the government planned to cut four of the 11 peak-hour express services between Penrith and the CBD from 2018.
Western Line commuters would also have to change at Central in order to get to Wynyard and Town Hall, according to the report, while services on the Norther Line would be boosted.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance slammed the ABC on Wednesday morning, saying it had deliberately misled the public.
“The ABC has knowingly reported false information on train timetables,” he said in a statement.
“As the ABC was informed last night, their questions were based on a false premise – a three-year-old working draft of the timetable that is now redundant.”
The ABC stood by its report following Mr Constance’s comments and claimed the government had fought a three-year legal battle to keep the timetables under wraps.
Stations including Blacktown, St Marys and Mount Druitt would likely be affected by the alleged changes.
Ms Car pressured Mr Constance and Premier Gladys Berejikilian to release next year’s timetable for the Western Line.
“It astounds me that Gladys Berejiklian would treat our area with such contempt,” she said. “More express trains to the Northern Line, while slashing our peak-hour services from Penrith, Kingswood and Werrington.
“Western Sydney is once again left begging for more rail services to cope with an ever increasing population and the North Shore is lavished with attention from the state government.
“This secret plan will force more commuters onto the M4 where they will face an extra $2000 [per year] in tolls.
“Gladys Berejiklian and Andrew Constance need to front up and explain why western Sydney is losing out again under their watch.”