Friday, July 19, 2024
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Station consternation

While residents agree that action to make Redfern station accessible is long overdue, they are also aware that accessibility is but one aspect of a broader congestion issue. With a budget of $100 million for the upgrade, which includes just six new lifts from platforms one to 10 connecting to a six-metre-wide southern concourse, Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is banking on a quick-fix solution to beyond 2036.

According to government plans, which propose a late 2020 start date, each end of the concourse will exit onto narrow streets. To the east, directly opposite the Watertower building carpark entrance, daily commuter traffic from Platform 10 will increase more than two-fold over the next five years to 20,000 to 25,000. Little wonder Max Middleton, who lives nearby, likens the plans to “putting lipstick on a pig”.

To the west, residents of Little Eveleigh Street are concerned the government rejected a community proposed option that the concourse run to the small square at the end of Wilson Street. Jack Carnegie, who founded Reconnect Redfern, said the government had ignored the community to press ahead with a “cheap and nasty” plan, which will see thousands of university students each hour compete with the existing two-directional bike path, and the removal of resident parking from the street.

Residents feel further let down by the City of Sydney’s acceptance of TfNSW’s preferred option, despite Council’s undertaking to work with TfNSW on a number of conditions.

Overlooked is the need for a pedestrian connection across the two major arterial roads to the nearest southbound bus stop, a safe and accessible bus interchange along Gibbons Street, and a plan to provide easy access across the railway line for pedestrians and cyclists.

The SSH backs calls to maintain pressure on Council and TfNSW and ensure community consultation regarding designs for a station connection that exits onto Wilson Street as part of the future redevelopment of North Eveleigh, lift access to platforms 11 and 12 from the 14-storey development above, and a better connection to South Eveleigh.

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