Trackwork comes at bad time as tourism looks for much needed boost

Rail trackwork clashes with what is expected to be a big weekend for Hunter business and tourism.
Rail trackwork clashes with what is expected to be a big weekend for Hunter business and tourism.

It's the much awaited easing of travel restrictions, and everything points to the Hunter having its first decent tourism weekend in months.

But Labor MP Jenny Aitchison fears scheduled rail trackwork could derail what is a much needed boost to the local economy.

She is calling on the State Government to put on additional bus services for visitors to the Hunter, Newcastle and Central Coast areas.

From Saturday 2am, through to Tuesday 2am, buses will replace trains between Scone and Newcastle, and Dungog and Newcastle, which will significantly impact on Maitland.

Trains between Newcastle and Central will be affected.

The Queen's Birthday long weekend is traditionally a big weekend for tourism, but it is also viewed especially so this year, with locals looking to get out after having been in COVID-19 lockdown for so long.

"With easing restrictions and a new NSW tourism campaign, this could be the first big weekend in months for tourism operators around the State," Ms Aitchison, the Member for Maitland and Shadow Minister for Investment and Tourism said.

"However, trackwork will put pressure on transport services around the Central Coast, Newcastle and the Hunter."

Labor Shadow Minister for Regional Transport and Central Coast MP David Harris said: "Public transport users who visit our regions this long weekend need to be confident they won't be stranded or delayed.

"That doesn't just mean replacement bus services. The Berejiklian Government needs to provide extra bus services to cope with increased demand."

This story Rail maintenance comes at bad time for local tourism travel first appeared on The Maitland Mercury.