What: Protest Rally
When: Friday 16 September 2022, Midday.
Where: Marine Drive Bus Terminus – corner of Crown Street and Marine Drive, Wollongong Foreshore.
Who: TWU, Bus Drivers, South Coast Labour Council, Premier Transport Group (Spokespeople available for Interview)
Media Inquiries – Colin Henderson TWU 0405625208
At the conclusion of the UCI World Cycling Championships event, Wollongong bus drivers have no guarantee that they will be supplied with an adequate bus terminus. Marine Drive Terminus is no longer available for Bus Drivers to use.
In May, Transport for NSW announced that due to UCI, Marine Drive terminus was to be temporarily closed, but after every event, a city needs to return to what it was, and that includes ensuring bus drivers have access to their safe working conditions. *
Wollongong City Council have advised the TWU and local bus operators that they are investigating alternative terminus sites with Transport for NSW. With minimal consultation, Council have also taken the opportunity to kick bus drivers off the Marine Driver terminus located on Council owned land at the Wollongong Foreshore.
A bus terminus is essential for drivers, who need access to adequate amenities that ensure they can take a proper rest break from driving a heavy vehicle. Marine Drive Terminus provides toilets; a quiet, safe place to park up and ensures drivers are properly managing their fatigue, as they require.
The TWU has held recent talks with the Council on this issue, but council is only offering a temporary solution and is not alleviating concerns that Bus Drivers have re safety and fatigue management.
Richard Olsen, TWU State Secretary is concerned that Council have left this too late. “Council it seems have a plan for Marine Drive, but for now when it comes to bus driver safety, we only have words and a promised investigation into future terminus sites, no definitive plan for a permanent new terminus.”
“Marine Drive Terminus has been in use for over 20 years. The TWU understands that the land was originally leased from Council by Transport for NSW for two years, and arrangements just continued. Council has had over 20 years to work this out,” Richard Olsen said.
The TWU is asking for Status Quo to remain, allow bus drivers to continue to access the safe bus terminus at Marine Drive until a suitable alternative is worked out between all involved, The TWU, Bus Drivers, Bus Operators, Transport for NSW and Wollongong Council.
John King from Premier Transport Group is also worried for the drivers he employs saying that a new terminus needs planning, not a ‘shut it down’ approach. “Our drivers are the most important asset we have and we need to ensure that they have the ability to deliver the highest level of service to our communities that they deserve.”
“We have consulted with Council and Transport for NSW and have been accommodating with temporary changes for UCI, we see the major benefit for Wollongong. We are concerned about the situation that we need a permanent place close to where we are located. Marine drive is the medium term solution”, John King said.
The TWU and bus operators know that any new terminus will require planning, which will include new driver rosters, and changes to fatigue management and timetabling for buses across the Illawarra.
Richard Olsen said Council has a responsibility for safety of bus drivers, their passengers and the City. Safety should be their priority whilst we all work together for a new permanent terminus.
Media Inquiries – Colin Henderson 0405625208