WSROC president Stephen Bali calls for more north-south connections on National Nightmare Commute Day

WEEKEND PEAK: Even on Sunday, the 9:18am train from Central to the Blue Mountains is crowded with passengers, luggage and bicycles. Picture: Michele Mossop
WEEKEND PEAK: Even on Sunday, the 9:18am train from Central to the Blue Mountains is crowded with passengers, luggage and bicycles. Picture: Michele Mossop

Gridlocked roads that resemble car parks, highway traffic coming to a crawl at every entry ramp, and standing room-only trains.

The frustrating situations are all-too familiar for western Sydney residents who face a long and increasingly expensive commute for work, school and university.

People have been encouraged to use the #nightmarecommute hashtag to share their horror stories today, September 14, for the first National Nightmare Commute Day.

The day is a brainchild of the National Growth Areas Alliance, of which 20 fast-growing Australian councils are members.

Stephen Bali, who represents member councils Blacktown, Penrith and Liverpool in his role as the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils president, said western Sydney was “a region of commuters” with few public transport options.

He has called on the state government to build more north-south connections and free up regional travel.

“Over the next 20 years, half a million new residents are expected to settle in the north-south corridor between Blacktown and the Blue Mountains. A corridor that has some of the lowest levels of public transport access in Sydney,” Cr Bali said.

“It is a question of whether you want these extra people on public transport, or whether you want to cram them onto roads.

“If we do nothing, by 2036 there could be as many as 600,000 additional commuters on our city’s roads.

“To prevent this congestion nightmare we need a comprehensive transport infrastructure strategy. One that includes roads, rail and everything in between.”

  • Join the conversation: share your horror stories using the #nightmarecommute hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.