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Libs announce $19m for Hills buses and Park ‘n’ Rides

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The Liberals are pledging $19m towards a range of transport investments – including “high-performance buses” – to improve commuting between the city and the burgeoning Adelaide Hills, but are facing criticism from a local MP for the time it will take for the package to come online.

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Transport Minister Corey Wingard on Sunday unveiled a Hills transport spending package which includes $10m for a fleet of 15 “dedicated, higher-performance buses” designed to operate at higher speeds in the Hills, along with $6 million to expand the Park ‘n’ Ride at Crafers with 140 extra parking spaces.

The remaining $3 million will be spent on a depot for the new bus fleet and a study to investigate a new Park ‘n’ Ride facility near Bridgewater.

The new package, however, does not include a passenger rail transport option on the existing rail corridor, after an Infrastructure SA report released last month argued it would “not come close” to buses and cars on reliability and travel time.

The new buses and expanded Crafers Park ‘n’ Ride are due to be in place by 2024.

“The new high-frequency express service will see buses run between Hills Park ‘n’ Rides and the city every 6-8 minutes during peak period, every 10-15 minutes interpeak and 20-30 minutes at night, with the journey in each direction expected to be about five minutes quicker,” Wingard said.

“Faster and more regular services, together with improved Park ‘n’ Ride facilities, will make public transport a much more attractive option for people commuting between the Hills and the city.”

But Kavel MP Dan Cregan, who defected from the Liberals in October and was later elevated to the speakership as an Independent, criticised the Government for the timeframe of the investments.

“While I strongly support investments in Hills public transport, including buses, it is incredible that it will take until 2024 to deliver,” Cregan said in a statement.

“As well, Onkaparinga Valley communities still have no Sunday bus service at all.

“My community remains deeply sceptical of promises on bus services after proposed cuts to Hills bus routes in 2020. At that time, over 600 people signed our petition to save the 841F bus service.”

 

Cregan’s seat of Kavel is one of the most prized at this year’s election. The Liberals are running local fitness studio operator and Mayo Federal Electorate Conference president Rowan Mumford to win it back.

 

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