A majority Government Parliamentary report has recommended that Transport for NSW publish a timeframe of all access upgrades to trains station infrastructure in a major boost to the community campaign to have lifts installed at Unanderra Station.
The Unanderra Access Group and others have been asking for some indication as to the likely timeframe for access improvements for years without success.
The Parliamentary Committee on Community Services has published an inquiry report into Access to transport for seniors and disadvantaged people in rural and regional NSW.
The report found that a “lack of access to bus stops and train stations can stop seniors and people with a disability from using public transport.” (page 16).
The Committee heard evidence from a range of individuals in rural and regional NSW who revealed their direct experiences accessing train stations without adequate infrastructure.
A case study in the report highlights the same difficult experiences seniors and people with a disability have had in accessing the Wyee Station (near Lake Macquarie), which sounds remarkably similar to the Unanderra Station:
Wyee has a central platform that can only accessed by a pedestrian bridge over the rail lines via steep stairs on either side. Access for people with wheelchairs is impossible, and significant difficulties are created for older people and anyone less mobile. (page 17).
Recommendation four of the Committee report concludes:
That Transport for NSW publish the timeframe for the completion of all access upgrades to bus stops and trains stations, with progress reports provided on a regular basis (page 16).
Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP:
“This Parliamentary Committee report, which has a Government majority on it, is a wake-up call to the Baird Government that it must act on making access easier to train stations, like Unanderra Station.
“The Unanderra Access Group has been saying the same things contained in this report for the last six years.
“I agree with the recommendation in this report that a timeframe is needed for all access upgrades and in particular at Unanderra Station.
“The current Transport Access Program (TAP) needs reform, transparency and certainty for upgrades to train stations.
“Labor understands the difficulties people have accessing Unanderra Station.
“I am determined to have these lifts built to improve access for all.
“It is time for the Baird Government to match our commitment and deliver the Unanderra Station lifts.”