Direct ferry route between Parramatta and Sydney abandoned

Parramatta and Sydney are linked by an iconic waterway, but plans to cut direct services between the two CBDs could significantly affect the river and habour city.

The direct ferry service between Parramatta and the city has been abandoned by the state government, upsetting commuters and affecting tourist industry plans.

A new timetable released by Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian on Wednesday replaces ferries between Rydalmere and Parramatta with a shuttle during weekday peak times.

What do you think about the new ferry plan? Tell us below.

Regular ferry user Daniel Attai said the plan was an inconvenience.

‘‘That’s terrible news,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s going to be an inconvenience — I probably won’t use it as much now.’’

The new timetable will operate as of October.

Ms Berejiklian said the new plans would include 50 new services in total across the network, including more frequent ferries along Parramatta River.

Regularly, the ferry is unable to navigate shallow water in the approach to Parramatta Wharf.

Parramatta Chamber of Commerce vice- president Roger Byrne said axing the ferry into the CBD was a ‘‘short-term view’’.

‘‘Obviously transport in and out of Parramatta is one of the key things businesses worry about,’’ he said.

‘‘(The ferry) is a really convenient way to commute into the city. If people have to commute into Rydalmere then it’s not going to be as convenient.’’

‘‘It seems like a short-term view, to me.’’ 

Mr Byrne said businesses had wanted to promote the trip from Circular Quay to Parramatta to tourists.

Plans to redevelop Riverside Theatres, as well as several developments planned for the river foreshore, had banked on a ferry service in to the CBD, he said.

Ferry facts:

■ Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian released a 20-year policy for the ferry network this week; 

■ Six new vessels will be bought by the state government for operation in 2016;

■ From October there will be a new ferry timetable to complement new bus and train timetables;

■ RiverCats will continue to operate all the way to Parramatta on weekends.

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