By Ashley Flockhart

What Transport NSW called “improvements” to the local bus network across Sydney’s Northwest, is being received negatively with more than 10,000 local residents signing a petition for the State Government to reverse the cancelled bus services to the Hills and parts of the Hornsby council area.

More than 200 outraged commuters attended a recent forum to vent their views on the State Government’s decision to cut major bus services. Some members of the public reported they were not asked directly for feedback about how the cuts would affect them prior to the cancellations, which started on July 28. Hornsby Shire councillors Emma Heyde and Vince Del Gallego were in attendance, along with Hills Shire councillor, Ryan Tracey.

Some residents heading to the city now require three require modes of transport following the bus service cuts. Here are some issues:■Commuting by bus is faster and more efficient, where commuting by Metro takes much longer from some areas.

■ The Metro does not have enough parking and the Metro car parks are full by 7am.

■The alternative option of parking in side streets and walking a long distance can also be unsafe, especially during night times and limited due to parking restrictions.

■It is a more expensive commute now people have to use extra modes of transportation. Casual users, the elderly, part time workers, students will feel the impact as services outside peak hours are limited.

TFNSW claimed it issued media releases on July 1 and July 18 advertising the “changes” of bus routes by July 28.

The second release reported residents could “plan ahead” their journeys from July 14, by using www.transportnsw.info.“Regular M2 buses will continue to run between the north west…and Sydney CBD, but customers travelling to areas like Chatswood will be able to access turn-up-and-go Metro services with extra local services to connect them to their nearest station…the changes to the North West bus network will take effect from 28 July.

Stories about the changes to bus routes were also posted on 9news and the Daily Telegraph.

Were you aware of the media releases or the stories, and do you think they were appropriately brought to your attention prior to the cancellation date?