Labor’s train troubles after Belair bike blunder

Monday 20 February, 2023

The Opposition is calling on the Malinauskas Labor Government to put extra services on the Belair train line after their broken promise for an extra carriage for mountain bike riders has resulted in antisocial behaviour on the popular route.

Prior to the election, Labor lied to the community by promising to “add an additional carriage on weekend Belair line train services” that would be “dedicated to bikes” to help handle increased patronage to the popular Mitcham Trail Network.

Tom Koutsantonis was forced to come clean on Labor’s lie and confirm the addition of an extra carriage is impossible.

However, instead of adding an extra carriage the Malinauskas Labor Government simply refitted existing carriages to accommodate bikes after the issue was highlighted by the Opposition – meaning there is no extra space on these services. In fact, the renovated carriages mean there are now two fewer seats on these services.

It means bike riders and other commuters are still competing for space on the Belair line with some passengers losing their cool – including a recent high-profile incident where a school teacher engaged in a heated altercation with teenage riders between the Eden Hill and Lynton railway stations.

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Vincent Tarzia said Labor’s failed promise is hurting passengers.

“This is a clear broken promise by Labor and the substandard solution they’ve offered up simply isn’t working,” Mr Tarzia said.

“Frustrations between bike riders and commuters on the Belair line are clearly boiling over as they’re both vying for room, despite Peter Malinauskas promising there’d be extra space.

“Labor promised an additional carriage on weekend Belair line train services to accommodate bike riders, but what they’ve actually done is remove two seats.

“Mountain bike riding is such a great outdoor activity, that is surging in popularity, and we don’t want to discourage young South Australians from getting active – but all train users also deserve a comfortable commute.

“That’s why we’re calling for additional services during weekends and public holidays, so that mountain bike riders and regular commuters aren’t competing for space.

“Extra security guards are a solution to a problem that wouldn’t exist if Labor delivered on their promise. More services will mean extra room and a more comfortable journey for everyone on the Belair line.”