The CampaignPosted: February 29, 2012
Since the parliamentary debate in August last year regarding the lack of accessibility at Redfern station, and a petition of over 11,000 signatures, the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan has been released. It recognises that an upgrade at Redfern is needed but sees it as only a medium-term priority, which optimistically means we could be waiting another five to 10 years for any work to begin at the station. The first phase of the campaign was very successful in getting the issue on the agenda and now Lift Redfern is planning the next steps. Anybody who uses or can’t use Redfern station would agree that a minimum five-year timeframe is too long to wait to see lifts installed. The community has already been waiting over 20 years.
The second phase of the campaign will push for lifts to be installed immediately on platforms 11 and 12 under the Transport Access Program as an interim measure to relieve some of the pressure for people travelling via Redfern station. However, our ultimate objective remains: to see a full upgrade of the station with lifts on every platform. The NSW government will be lobbied to get a definite timeframe as to when our community can expect work to commence.
Please follow this link to sign a letter to the Minister for Transport NSW and President for the Legislative Council of NSW and share with your friends, family and colleagues.
Lift Redfern Background:
It is time to do something about Redfern Station. A 2003 community forum was told that unless the Government intervened, Redfern Station would not be upgraded until 2011. Both 2011 and Government interventions have come and gone, and the 20 year old promise that access would be addressed by a station upgrade could still be another 20 years away, when lifts are needed now. One of the problems seems to be that Redfern Station is not on the Easy Access Program list see Redfern Station Easy Access Estimates response – Nov 2011. Instead it is expected that Redfern Station access will be fixed as part of a full station upgrade, but this keeps being pushed back. In 2003 the community suggested that in the interim the installation of one lift would at least allow people to change at Central and to use one accessible platform at Redfern Station, but we have not seen that either.
A campaign to get lifts installed at Redfern Station, under the banner “Lift Redfern”, is being supported by a wide range of organisations including business, the arts, the Aboriginal communities, community services, resident groups and local political party branches. The list keeps growing but you can see it at Who is behind Lift Redfern. A key part of the “Lift Redfern” campaign is to get the appalling lack of access at Redfern Station debated in the NSW Parliament and for the Legislative Assembly to call upon the “Minister of Transport to take immediate action to install lifts to Redfern Station platforms”. The Premier put in place a procedure where a 10,000 signature petition would generate a Parliamentary debate. The campaign does not aim to tell Government how to deliver access it simply says we want lift access and we want it now!
You can help our campaign; it is as simple as talking about some of the key points surrounding Redfern Station:
REDFERN STATION FACTS
- Redfern Station is a major key station on the rail network as all lines, bar the airport line, run through it.
- With 12 platforms, Redfern Station is second to Central Station for inter-change possibilities.
- Since 2006 entrances and exits at Redfern Station have increased from 31,000 to over 42,000 in 2011 – from tenth busiest station in the network to sixth. Growth is expected to increase.
- Redfern Station services major educational facilities including a leading global university, significant national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander institutions, and, with the creation of CarriageWorks, a major new cultural hub for the City and the Inner West.
- People with disabilities, older people, parents with young children, pregnant women, people with short term mobility issues through illness or injury, and people with luggage or shopping have great difficulty in accessing or cannot access the Station as there are no lifts to any platform.
REDFERN STATION ISSUES
- In April 2006, then Transport Minister John Watkins announced plans for a $2 million inquiry into concept designs for upgrading the station, including Easy Access facilities. Six years on, no work has commenced.
- Redfern/Waterloo is home to one of the highest populations of social housing communities many of whom are elderly and frail. These people rely on public transport to access city hospitals and other medical facilities. Redfern Station fails to address this need.
- Redfern/Waterloo being the gateway to the CBD is surround by main access roads which are plagued with grid lock on a daily bases. Improving access to the station would encourage more people to access this station aiding in the reduction of car use.
- The rights of people with disabilities to access services are protected by laws inAustraliaand NSW. The law provides for the provision of reasonable adjustments or assistance to access mainstream services. The timeline for compliance with Federal laws regarding access to public transport is 55% accessible by the end of 2012 with 100% accessibility by 2022.
- Large investments are being poured in to make Redfern retail and entertainment facilities more attractive and viable, yet access to Redfern is restricted to many by the inequitable access at Redfern station.
- Redfern/Waterloo is home to a high level of social disadvantage people. Transport is an important enabler of strategies to fight poverty through enhancing access to education, employment, and social services.
- Whilst the offer of staff to aid people down the stairs is welcomed, it can often lead to people feeling inferior and insignificant, adding to their feeling of low self-esteem and discrimination. Those who need assistance often would rather avoid asking for help and suffer the consequence of the lack accessibility than to experience embarrassment.
- Rail travel is relative low cost in comparison to utilising say taxies, however, if you can’t access rail services, this increases the already high financial burdens that disabled people face daily.
- Parents with children struggling with prams and children find it difficult to control children whilst trying to identify staff to assist.
- Are all staff at station trained in disability awareness, sensitivity? Are they physically able to assist people with access to the platforms?
- Apart from the Airport Line it is the first station from the South and West were all major lines meet and should be number one for interchanges thus easing pressure onCentral Townhalland Wynyard.
- “Congestion on platforms in the CBD is also increasing in peak periods. Physical constraints at key stations, particularly Town Hall and Wynyard, limit options for managing crowding in these locations. Many interchanges occur at these stations with flows of people joining or leaving the rail network as well as changing services or using station facilities as pedestrian links.” Rail Options for the Sydney Greater Metropolitan Area Draft Options Paper, November 2011, page 9
- One of the promises with the creation of the Redfern Waterloo Authority was the fast-tracking of the Redfern Station upgrade by 2011. The Authority has gone, but we still don’t even have the plans for an upgrade.