Orange run turning sour

A once-juicy bus express run between Orange and Sydney could dry up with a new train service souring expectations

Orange run turning sour
Orange run turning sour

By Sean Muir | June 22, 2012

Australia Wide Coaches managing director Richard Dawes, pictured, has vowed to continue the fight against a government decision threatening the livelihood of a 25-year-old bus service.

Dawes says if negotiations with the NSW Government fail, a new train service scheduled to come online from October may force him to cut his Orange to Sydney service.

"We’re not going to sit back and take it like we seem to do as an industry," Dawes tells ABC Magazine after a meeting with Transport Minister Advisor Nick Tyrrell late yesterday.

"I said I know the situation you are in, you made an election promise and I congratulate you on following through on it, but at the end of the day, nobody consulted me – this service has been running for 25 years unsubsidised," says Dawes.

Early this year Premier Barry O’Farrell announced a daily return commuter rail service, since dubbed the Bathurst Bullet, between Bathurst and Sydney starting in October.

In recent years, Dawes added four ex-Selwood Coaches’ Volvos to his fleet servicing from Orange, located west of Bathurst, to Sydney.

Dawes says the most disappointing part of the government’s decision is the lack of consultation.

"It affects the service viability for the Orange people and that’s not fair," Dawes says.

But Dawes says yesterday’s meeting with the government was a positive step forward.

"If you can get to the minister’s office I think that’s positive," Dawes says.

"Initially he was saying to us we are not going to do anything about it until it affects the service on the first of October.

"I said mate the horse has already bolted by then. By the time it goes through the approval process we will be out of business."

Dawes says he will continue to work with the government to look at ways to save his service.

"We’ll approach Transport for NSW also and maybe the local member in Orange," Dawes says.

"We’ll explore all those avenues."

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