The NSW Government has confirmed the free John Hunter Hospital park-and-ride shuttle service is set to return.
$700,000 has been set aside for the service, which will see the reinstatement of the shuttle, after it was scrapped back in 2015, after hundreds of new car parks were constructed on site.
In the years since, there has been a community campaign underway to see the shuttle return, to ease traffic congestion, free up parking and lower costs for visitors.
NSW Health Minister Ryan Park was in town today to announce the return of the service, which he says will make a big difference.
“The free park-and-ride shuttle service was an election commitment and I’m pleased we’ve been able to reinstate this service.
“It will provide a consistent and reliable timetable for staff and visitors to attend work or meetings and help elderly and sick patients reach their appointments without having to walk from distant parking spots.
“It will also help alleviate car parking pressures on the campus, as well as support staff wellbeing and environmental sustainability initiatives by removing hundreds of cars per day from the hospital road network, car parks and surrounding streets,” Mr Park said.
It’s understood planning is now underway to see the bus back on the road by mid-next year.
Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery, who has been a vocal supporter of the return of the shuttle, says while it’s been a long campaign, she is glad to see it finally happening.
“I know this will make a really big difference to members of our community who regularly travel to John Hunter Hospital, and I am pleased we’re able to deliver this service which will make it easier to access the hospital,” Ms Hornery said.