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The Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson, is calling on the Minister for Transport, Andrew Constance, to reconsider the decision to install non-reversible seats on the new intercity fleet of trains.

This morning Ms Watson moved a notice of motion in NSW Parliament condemning the Government for “forcing Illawarra commuters to sit facing backwards for over 2 hours, one way, every day.”

Documents obtained under freedom of information laws show that Transport for NSW’s own research concludes that commuters prefer reversible seating.

Fixed seating will be problematic for local commuters, especially for those that suffer from motion sickness, as train journeys between Shellharbour and Sydney take around two hours on average.

Quotes Attributable to Anna Watson MP:

“People commuting between Shellharbour and Sydney will be forced to sit facing backwards for two hours each way. That’s a long time if you suffer from motion sickness, especially through all the bends on the escarpment. I hope the Government is including sick bags on the new trains.

“This is yet another example of the Minister ignoring what the people want to feed his ego instead. I’d like to see him sit on a train facing backwards for two hours to see how it feels. After all, this is something that will become an everyday reality for people in my electorate.

“This Government already has a terrible track record when it comes to trains. This decision is just further proof that this Government is hell-bent on making people’s commutes as unpleasant as possible.

“The Government estimates that the new trains will go into service on the South Coast Line nearly a year and a half after they have been rolled out throughout the rest of the network. It’s clear that this Government always puts the Illawarra last.”

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