Local residents bear brunt of failure on public transport for Knights opener, say Greens

1 March 2012

Residents living around the International Sports Centre will suffer unnecessarily from tonight’s blockbuster NRL season opener between the Knights and the Dragons because public transport arrangements and information for the event have been poorly organised and promoted, according to The Greens.

“The crowd for this game is obviously going to be huge, and will fill local streets with cars,” The Greens Ward 3 candidate for Newcastle, Fee Mozeley, said.

“We should be actively promoting public transport to the event – but anyone who wants to use public transport to and from the game will find it almost impossible to get accurate or useful information,”.

“Media reports have stated that the Transport Management Centre will be providing extra services for people travelling from the game to Newcastle, Wallsend, Swansea and Warners Bay.

“But there is no information about even these limited extra services on any of the obvious websites on which people might try to find it, including the Transport Management Centre website, the Transport Info 131 500 website, the Newcastle Buses website, the Hunter Venues website, or the Newcastle Knights website.

“In addition, the event venue is being promoted under its new ‘Hunter Stadium’ name, but if you enter that in the popular Trip Planner on the NSW Transport Info 131 500 website (http://www.131500.com.au/plan-your-trip/trip-planner), it wants to take you to the Glendale stadium! To get to tonight’s game, you have to enter its old “Energy Australia Stadium” name.

“All this illustrates a lack of seriousness about public transport in Newcastle, and it’s the residents of surrounding areas like Lambton, Waratah, Broadmeadow and Georgetown who end up paying for this through their loss of residential amenity,” Ms Mozeley said.

The Greens Lord Mayoral candidate for Newcastle, John Sutton, said that event ticketing – incorporating public transport fares and event entry costs – are regularly used for large events in Sydney and should be a standard requirement in Newcastle.

“If we’re serious about reducing car use in Newcastle, the state government and the council need to get serious about promoting public transport, and requiring event organisers to provide incentives such as event ticketing for people to use more sustainable forms of transport.

“Sometimes this can be done by very simple and obvious action. For instance, the International Sports Centre is one of the best serviced venues in Newcastle for cycleways, but past events haven’t even provided cycle-racks,” Mr Sutton said.

For more information or comment, contact: Fee Mozeley (Greens Newcastle Ward 3 candidate) on 0424 026 056; or John Sutton (Lord Mayoral and Ward 4 candidate) on 0411 154 004.

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