Unissued fine stays as South Coast trains get bigger

Pick-up only status for some South Coast trains leaving Central will remain despite no one being fined for breaking the two-year-old rule. Picture: Janie Barrett
Pick-up only status for some South Coast trains leaving Central will remain despite no one being fined for breaking the two-year-old rule. Picture: Janie Barrett

They don’t seem be policed and no-one has been fined but the U-stops on afternoon four-car trains will stay after they are boosted to eight cars.

The U-stops are pick-up only stations, introduced on the 3.24pm and 3.54pm Central-South Coast services to try and discourage Sydney commuters from using Illawarra trains.

On those trains Redfern, Wolli Creek, Hurstville and Sutherland are U-stops.

The measure has drawn criticism that not one person has been hit with the $100 on-the-spot fine for getting off at those stations.

Government data released under Freedom of Information showed, for the two dates sampled, more than 200 people on those trains got off at a U-stop.

On January 7, the four-car trains will be increased to eight after a long public campaign.

But the U-stops will remain, a Transport for NSW spokesman said.

The spokesman did not state whether any fines had been issued for getting off at U-stops.

“NSW TrainLink will continue to work to deter suburban customers from using South Coast trains,” the spokesman said.

“Customer information boards and announcements for U-stop services have the first stop as Helensburgh and these services do not appear when people search for suburban trips on www.transportnsw.info.”

Wollongong MP Paul Scully is a critic of the U-stops.

He said the fact they are being retained on services that were doubling in capacity suggested Transport for NSW was concerned with people “gaming the system” by using the trains as metropolitan express services.

“The message from this is that Transport for NSW appear to be conscious of the fact that improvements need to be made to South Coast rail services,” Mr Scully said.