Short Takes Friday February 23 2018

KEOLIS Downer certainly has made their mark on the Newcastle bus network. Another fine example of NSW government handiwork. It seems every asset they sell off turns into a nightmare for the people of this state; electricity prices are a great example of their expertise, but still they do not get it. After the next state election, the very few Liberals left standing will be scratching their heads and asking: “Why have the voters abandoned us?” Governments have a responsibility to look after people’s needs, and privatising public assets is not the way to go.

Darryl Tuckwell, Eleebana

NEWCASTLE buses’ new timetables have 24-hour time instead of am/pm and they changed the route ID numbers. I wonder if the new people running the buses are going to cover bus stops so the cars can park legally. Why waste parking spaces like all the ones in Beaumont Street at Hamilton and elsewhere around Newcastle? Make something positive about the not so great change. 

Alan Ackroyd, Hamilton

KEOLIS Downer finds that routes 11 and 13 produce the best passenger figures in Newcastle (‘Keolis Downer calls time on ghost buses’, Newcastle Herald, 19/2). These routes, under their old guises of routes 100 and 363, were providing the best results 10 years ago, and they are much as they were, just more frequent. Maybe, just maybe, if they introduced similarly frequent, direct routes on other main arteries like the Pacific Highway they might find that these routes would bring in the punters too. 

Geoff Hassall, Birmingham Gardens

NAILED on both accounts John Ure (Letters 20/2). I know the highway car would be better tasked earning its keep upholding the 60 km/h speed limit around the Maitland railway station roundabout. A tip for officers: the westbound lanes between the roundabout and the 80 km/h sign before Trzecinski Bridge are ripe for the picking. I reckon you might also get some mobile phone using drivers thrown into the bargain.

Garry Blair, Maitland

THE saga of the drought is still affecting the farmers. I remember as a child watching my father knocking the rungs on the tank to check the water level. But old habits die hard. When we moved to the city he still checked the household taps to see that they were turned off.

Daphne Hughes, Kahibah

THEY need to do something to stop the use of hard, uncomfortable seats on trains on the intercity train line. I think it’s bad enough that the line has been truncated and is still just as slow, so why torture train travellers with uncomfortable seating? I did attend the rally in Sydney, which had good attendance with good speeches, but it was just dismissed by Premier Berejiklian - as at Newcastle! 

Doug Lithgow, Adamstown Heights

SURELY the Turnbull government can't be serious in claiming that this [Electoral Legislation Amendment] bill is reforming anything. It transparently tries to hobble any community group with a mass of hoops to jump through while leaving big mining companies free to seek out political favours.  

Richard Fletcher, Hamilton