Wednesday, May 7, 2014

NWRL Meeting at Cheltenham Rec Club

The Trust organised what was meant to be an information meeting in which North West Rail Link authorities and the Government could explain why the NWRL is being built with metro style instead of double decked rolling stock compatible with the rest of the NSW rail network.
Rodd Staples gave a good description of what is being built, already under construction.  Unfortunately he did not answer many significant questions, such as "how long will the Epping to Chatswood tunnel be out of use during conversion to metro?"  Buses will be needed throughout the conversion period, with road transport already a disaster along the Epping/Macquarie/Chatswood route.
Wishing to inform the local population the Trust had opened the meeting to the general public, and it was well attended, with standing room only at the back of the hall.  Unfortunately it seems many who came had political agendas and little interest in the NWRL.  Some had clearly come to heckle, waving placards and yelling abuse that was unrelated to the reason for the meeting.  As local MP Greg Smith commented, "There is a lack of human courtesy here tonight and I'm amazed that people from Beecroft and Cheltenham could be so rude." 

Certainly some of the protesters seemed to have come from outside our area.  The lesson for the Trust must be that for future open public meetings we should require evidence that people attending are either members of the Trust or are resident in the 2119 post code area.
The other lesson must be, surely, that there is no point now protesting about something already under construction.  The Trust has been  flagging this issue, and trying to raise public awareness, for well over a year and sadly the general population took no interest until it was too late.

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