After ten months of public transport chaos, Transport Minister Chris Steel has finally conceded that the overhaul of the bus network was a monumental failure, Canberra Liberals Shadow Transport Minister Candice Burch said.
“Canberrans have suffered through ten months of transport chaos, with longer commute times, more service changes, and far fewer weekend services,” Miss Burch said.
“Despite over 13,000 pieces of feedback prior to the network commencing, over 7,000 petition signatories, and constant calls from the Canberra Liberals to restore services, the Barr Labor-Greens Government has refused to acknowledge these issues.
“Now, the Minister cannot even bring himself to apologise to Canberrans about the chaos and disrespect he has been responsible for. This is a gutless response from Minister Steel.
“While we welcome the changes announced today, these changes are simply fixing problems that the Government created. Prior to rolling out this network, the Government held over 12 months of consultation and were inundated with complaints. Instead of listening to Canberrans, the Government accused the Canberra Liberals of scaremongering, and even shut down debate in the Legislative Assembly.
“The Government could have foreseen every single one of the problems with the current bus network, and never should have let these problems eventuate.
“Questions remain about driver availability and reliability for weekend shifts.
“The Minister is yet to confirm whether dedicated school bus services will return. The Canberra Liberals have committed to prioritising and reinstating dedicated school bus services, if elected this October.
“It is disappointing that it takes an impending election for the Minister to finally pay attention to Canberrans in our outer suburbs,” Miss Burch said.