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Wallsend residents on the bus for shuttle service’s reinstatement

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Wallsend state MP Sonia Hornery has praised residents and healthcare workers for the “possible recall” of the John Hunter Hospital shuttle bus service, stating their “voices are important”.

More than 3,500 people signed the local member’s petition calling for the provision’s reinstatement following its removal by the NSW Government in 2015.

The shuttle bus enabled employees, hospital staff, patients and visitors to park at McDonald Jones Stadium and embark on the vehicle to the front door of the medical facility, avoiding the parking nightmare of the hospital.

Sadly, that ended almost eight years ago.

NSW Shadow Minister for Health Ryan Park meets Hunter health workers during the week.

But, this week, NSW Shadow Minister for Health Ryan Park announced Labor would restore the service if the party prevailed at the NSW Election on 25 March.

“I am delighted, that if elected, a Chris Minns-led government will reinstate the vital shuttle bus to John Hunter Hospital to make it easier and safer for staff, patients and visitors to access health services and avoid congestion on the roads,” he said.

“The service will have the added benefit of freeing up some traffic on Croudace Street, Russell Road and Lookout Road, particularly while the Newcastle Inner City Bypass is being constructed.

“I want to particularly thank Sonia Hornery for her tireless advocacy on behalf of her local community, as well as the many health workers and residents who have spoken to me about this.”

Ms Hornery credited “people power” for the outcome.

“My gratitude goes to everyone who put their names on my petition,” she said.

“The shuttle bus service was a vital option for staff and patients to be able to access the hospital without the stress of finding a park or navigating the entry and exit of the hospital at peak hours.

“I have heard numerous stories of employees [at John Hunter Hospital] being given unfair parking fines, struggling to find a park and having to arrive up to an hour before their shift, facing delays of up to an hour leaving the campus at peak times and many other nightmares since the shuttle bus was removed.

“Our healthcare and hospital staff do a great job and don’t need the extra stress of traffic gridlock and chaos when starting or finishing their day’s work.

“With the continued expansion of the hospital on the horizon, it is imperative that we restart this service and free up as many parks as possible at the hospital.”

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