Victorian Commuters Deserve Better

Victorian Commuters Deserve Better

Victoria Shadow Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder

MYKI Three Years Late As Brumby Neglects Basic Station Access

Victor P Taffa

Premier John Brumby’s MYKI is three years late today, while his refusal to provide ramps or subways at new or renovated metropolitan railway stations is resulting in passengers being trapped on platforms such as Laverton when the lifts break down and causing gross inconvenience to local residents, Shadow Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder said today.

Mr. Mulder said MYKI should have been operating today on Melbourne’s trams and buses and V/Line country trains and coaches, but had yet to start on any of these.

Mr. Mulder said that John Brumby’s obsession with MYKI and his neglect of public transport basics was creating a problem for a future government to fix, with new stations at Coolaroo (between Broadmeadows and Roxburgh Park on the Craigieburn line) and Williams Landing (between Aircraft and Hoppers Crossing on the Werribee line) lacking disabled access when the lifts were out of service.



“When its new footbridge is opened, Footscray station, one of the busiest in Melbourne, will also lack easy access when its lifts break down.” Mr. Mulder said.

“Historically, Melbourne railway stations have had excellent access, with subways or ramps being far preferable to the typical stairs-over-tracks design of many Sydney railway stations.

“These new stations are totally or partly ‘island platform’ designs, with a platform sandwiched between two rail lines. Other tracks such as the Melbourne to Adelaide (at Laverton and Williams Landing) and Melbourne to Sydney (at Coolaroo) standard gauge lines are also in these railway corridors.” Mr. Mulder said.

“John Brumby will maroon passengers on these desert island-like platforms, often without access to water or toilet facilities when lifts are unserviceable.” Mr. Mulder said.

Mr. Mulder said that John Brumby had closed the ramps at Laverton that previously led to platforms 1 and 2, and replaced them with lifts and stairs.

“Local residents such as Mrs. Trudy Golding of Laverton have been inconvenienced several times since the new footbridge was opened in early February. On Wednesday 24 February, Mrs. Golding said that she was marooned on one side of the railway line while the lifts were repaired from 7.45 pm to 9.45 pm.” Mr. Mulder said.

Mr. Mulder said that when Minister for Transport Martin Pakula opened the footbridge, he had the hide to claim that ‘it provides significant access improvements.’

“This could not be further from the truth. Closing and demolishing ramps is a backward step. Rail passengers with prams, those in wheelchairs, the elderly, children with bikes and many adults with heavy luggage cannot negotiate stairs when lifts break down or when they undergo scheduled maintenance.” Mr. Mulder said.

Mr. Mulder said that Minister Pakula and Metro lacked a plan to get passengers off the platforms if the lifts were unavailable.

“Passengers should not have to travel to the next station and make their own way back by bus, taxi, being picked up or by walking. These new stations must be provided with either subways or ramps.” Mr. Mulder said.