RAIL Back On Track spokesman Robert Dow.
RAIL Back On Track spokesman Robert Dow.

Calls for public transport network review after overhaul

WITH Springfield set to receive a long-awaited overhaul to its bus network, there are calls for similar attention to be paid to Ipswich as a whole.

Member for Jordan Charis Mullen announced new services, timetables and improved bus-train connections for Greater Springfield would be in place early next year.

Spring Mountain's first bus service, route 533, will be introduced and the much-maligned route 522 will be split into two new services - routes 527 and 528.

A "more reliable" timetable will also be introduced for route 526, which runs from Springfield Central station to Redbank station via Redbank Plaza Shopping Centre.

RAIL Back On Track spokesman Robert Dow welcomed the changes and said the group had advocated for bus service improvements since the railway opened to Springfield Central in 2013.

He said patronage on the Springfield train line had been on the rise and improved feeder bus connections would continue to drive growth.

"The 522 was a very difficult bus route that was struggling… it became so unreliable that people gave up," he said.

"The on-time performance on it was terrible so breaking it up into two new routes is going to make it much more reliable.

"It provides the opportunity to bring Springfield station in to the bus network as well.

"Hopefully it will allow some people to use the bus rather than face that horrible parking situation at Springfield Central."

While it was a step in the right direction, Mr Dow said all remaining bus routes in the western region needed timing reviews, as was done with the 526 route.

"Every bus route in the Ipswich region services a railway station somewhere on the run," he said.

"It's important they try and maintain times so that people can actually make the transfer to the train without missing it.

"The overall reliability of the network would be improved if they altered the timing as they've done for the 526.

"That's a good example of what they should be doing for all the other routes (in Ipswich) as well."

Passenger trips from Springfield train station for the 2018/19 financial year had risen from 190,808 to 198,436 on the year before, and there was a significant jump for Springfield Central from 482,953 to 547,859.

"TransLink will continue to work with our delivery partners to monitor customer feedback and review the network," A TransLink spokesperson said.

"All requests for improvements to the public transport network or new services are subject to funding availability and state-wide prioritisation of transport investments.