Re-open the Cessnock Railway line NOW!
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The Cessnock railway line was closed to passenger services in 1972. Since then the only way into Maitland and Newcastle is by car, or a very slow and infrequent bus service. The other issue is the traffic congestion from all the cars, which in turn slows down the limited number of buses. People who are unable to drive for various reasons have no choice but to travel via bus and it can take them up to a few hours to reach Maitland and even longer to reach Newcastle. (This is factoring in time taken to walk to the bus stop, wait for the bus and travelling time on the bus). The re-instatement of passenger services on the Cessnock line has been mooted for 20 years, but still there are no trains. Currently only coal trains use the line. However, the coal trains and passenger trains needn't get in the way of one another as an additional siding can be added to accommodate the coal trains. The local bus company (instead of running long journeys to Maitland and Newcastle), can alter their routes, to run shorter more frequent journeys around Cessnock and Kurri Kurri, taking commuters to Cessnock, Weston and Pelton railway stations. I believe that once the trains are again running in Cessnock that the local bus company will also benefit from increased patronage. Additional stations should be added after Cessnock for Bellbird and Pelton and the station of Kearsley should be added between Aberdare (aka Caledonia) and Neath. The people of Cessnock deserve reliable and frequent public transport and to be free of traffic congestion. Increasing the number of buses (to Maitland and Newcastle) will simply increase traffic congestion. The only way to solve transport and traffic problems in Cessnock is to re-open the Cessnock Railway Line for passenger services. How long must the people of Cessnock wait for a train Mr Constance?
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