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Community access gives lift to Redfern station

A new southern concourse at Redfern station was opened by Premier Minns on October 8 at a reported cost of $166 million. The concourse replaces the southern bridge to the station removed in the 1990s. Alexandria, Waterloo and Eveleigh will get improved access to the station through entrances in Marian and Little Eveleigh streets.

In a major win for the community, the concourse provides open community access across the railway line, saving five minutes on the earlier route via Lawson Street. The six-metre-wide concourse will be shared by both train users going through the barriers and an open gate with the only “community access” signs in NSW. On the downside, when the station is closed there will be no local access.

One unexpected outcome of the community access has been the number of people walking their dogs across the concourse. Pets are banned from Sydney and regional train services and stations, and there is currently a campaign to allow people to take pets on public transport in Sydney in line with Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra.

Delivered under the Transport Access Program, the enclosed concourse provides lift access to the 10 above-ground platforms. The concourse has steps at the eastern end and accessibility requires the use of the platform 10 lift to move between concourse levels. Access to underground platforms 11 and 12 will not be delivered until a proposed 14-storey over-station development is delivered. That development will also allow at grade access to the new pedestrian lights across Gibbons and Regent Street for bus interchanges.

In 2011 the “Lift Redfern” campaign delivered petitions with over 11,500 signatures to NSW Parliament for the installation of lifts at Redfern. That campaign resulted in one lift in November 2015 which made Redfern accessible if people heading to Redfern changed to that line elsewhere. There is still some way to go before Redfern station is fully accessible.

No locals, including the South Sydney Herald were invited to the opening. A separate event was held on October 27 to thank those who had been most inconvenienced by the build which took three years longer than expected.

Regular loud “no smoking” announcements annoying Watertower residents have now ceased, but Little Eveleigh Street residents are waiting for clarity about the impact of “no stopping” signs in front of their houses and the traffic reversal proposed in their street.

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Geoffrey Turnbull is the spokesperson for REDWatch.

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