MEMBER for Lake Macquarie, Greg Piper, has renewed his call for lifts to be installed at Wyee Station.
In a speech to State Parliament, the independent MP cited new data that backed his claim that negotiating the mountain of steps to the train platform had deterred passengers from using the station.
Mr Piper acknowledged the state government’s recent “cosmetic improvements” to the stations at Wyee and Dora Creek.
But he said the paint job fell a long way short of “what is required to bring these two stations into the 21st century”.
Significant accessibility issues at the stations had become a growing concern in the community, he said.
“Wyee is the busier of the two stations. It has a central platform which can only be accessed by a pedestrian bridge over the rail lines via steep stairs on either side,” Mr Piper said.
“Access for people in wheelchairs is impossible, and significant difficulties are created for older people and anyone less mobile.”
The stairs are not covered and provide no protection from the rain. Regular rail users have told Mr Piper of passengers who had fallen on the steps.
“I believe the only option is to install lifts on the eastern and western sides of the existing platform,” he said.
Seats could also be installed at the top of the existing stairs “to give elderly or less mobile people a break during the arduous trek to the central platform”.
At Dora Creek Station, Mr Piper said the absence of a ramp onto the northbound platform makes access for wheelchair users or mobility-impaired passengers “virtually impossible”.
He said the accessibility problems were having a profound impact on the numbers of people using both stations.
He cited recent data from Transport for NSW to support the theory.
“We are told that people are not using these stations for a reason, and I say that is because they simply cannot access them or do not enjoy the experience.”
We are told that people are not using these stations for a reason, and I say that is because they simply cannot access them.- - Greg Piper
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