Posted: 26th March
Story from Eddie, Big Issue Vendor - My name is Eddie and I work as a Big Issue Vendor. I use a motorised wheel chair to get around. The Big Issue office is located right next to Redfern station – this would be great, except I have no way of getting off the platforms at Redfern, because there are no lifts. I go to the office to buy, refund and exchange magazines, book a place to work and catch up with the Big Issue staff. I have to get off the train at Central instead, and ride my wheelchair to Redfern. The footpath from Central to Redfern is very bumpy – the ride is very uncomfortable, I run the risk of damaging my chair and I wear down the battery. It’s also alongside some incredibly busy roads. It’s not safe and the fumes are bad for my health.
Having to get off at Central instead of Redfern is really frustrating. Riding from Central to Redfern, and then back to Central to get on a train to get to my pitch wastes a lot of time, and means I can work less hours, meaning I make less money. I live out in Campbelltown, and this adds at least another 45 minutes onto an hour long commute. Wearing down my battery also means I have to cut back my working hours, otherwise I could get stuck with an unpowered chair.
Story from Derek – I live in Alexandria and use the station everyday for work, last week when I was waiting on the platform I saw a man in a wheelchair get off the train at Redfern station. It wasn’t long before he realised there were no lifts to take him from the platform to street level, he then came back down the platform and got another train… It’s a disgrace that in 2012 Redfern station is not accessible!
Story from Tim, local volunteer – Around 20 years ago when I was a young lad I got off the train at Redfern station and saw an elderly gentleman struggle with his shopping up the stairs, I asked him if he would like some help which he accepted. I took the man’s shopping and bounded up the stairs, when I turned around he wasn’t even half way up. When he finally got to the top of the stairs he reached into his shopping bag and gave me two bananas for helping him. I have often thought about this story as it was the first time I ever helped out a complete stranger, the man was truly grateful for my assistance and I was touched at his gesture of offering me the bananas for my act. I wonder, how many other people have had to suffer the stairs at Redfern station in the past 20 years since that day?
Posted: 23rd March
Story from Krista - Ever tried to push a large pram with a newborn and a buggy board carrying a toddler down Redfern station stairs (ha!) or down the platform 11 & 12 escalator? Hold the toddler’s hand, balance the pram and cross your fingers you don’t overbalance … well crossing fingers is not enough and having almost lost the load I can no longer catch the train to with the kids on my own. Seems like it should be illegal for an inner city station so close to Sydney University to deny parents with prams, people with disabilities and the elderly the right to travel. I wonder if my elderly grandmother will still be alive when she can visit by coming direct to Redfern station and up the elevator rather than me having to drive to pick her up at Central.
Posted: 21st March
Story from Matt Arrowsmith - I occasionally work from home – so when I can, I walk with my wife to the train station just to assist her down to the platform with the pram with our son inside. We sometimes move it down with my son inside if he is asleep – or preferably we remove our son and my wife carries him down while I handle the pram and bags etc. When she returns to Redfern station, she gives me a warning call when she gets to Central and I run down to Redfern to help her up from the platform. It’s ridiculous to think we have to do this in 2012 at such an extremely busy station. We’ve traveled extensively and Asia puts Australia to shame when it comes to trains/stations. It should embarrassing for all involved!!
Posted: 20th March
Story from Eva Temelkov - It is a fantastic initiative. I wonder why the council or City Rail has not allocated funds to improve this main station. On several occasions at Redfern station I had to beg commuters to help me carrying my stroller up and down the stairs when I was not able to use alternative public transport. It is ridiculous in 21 century to not being able to use lift at such a main station!
On another occasion in the early afternoon I was with a friend with 2 prams, 2 babies and one toddler. It was Mission Impossible to climb the stairs as it was raining and there were not many commuters around to help us. A station guard saw us and when I called him for help he just turned his back on us and left us on the platform. It was extremely difficult to get up the stairs imposing our babies at huge risk as me and my friend had to carry both prams upstairs.
When we got to the top we complained to the Station Manager who said that it is not their duty to assist passengers!
Every morning I get off Redfern and I wonder how all the pregnant women climb these stairs not to mention elderly, prams and children. For me not having lifts at Redfern is cruel!
I am signing with both hands! Good luck
Story from Douglas John Williams - The upgrading and restructure of Redfern station the deterioration has began before you have started there the authority have allowed the the high rise east of the station to be built right now all the morning sun now gone a dreadful mistake and you want to clean up transport the roads around the station are very confusing you must bring back two way lanes on Regent Street no parking on Lawson at all the way the traffic is directed there is a shamozzle OK lifts 50000 people a day make sure there Big lifts 5 meters x 5 meters and think about the future the way the governments are stacking out Redfern there will be 120000 a day in about five years I say build a underground hook up to the East finish Bradfields dream to the north that would get rid of thousands of bus trips yes and hook up Bondi ! Junction with Bondi Beach that line would have been finished and look great if the greens of the day had been smothered more mistakes I say O’farrell needs to pull out his finger and I say Roy-Wakelin King AM needs to pull up his socks if he wants anymore credits from the South Sydney people he has not done a thing how dare his staff deliver a letter tell us about his information on the area this is the first notification sent out EVER I have lived in the Redfern area now for 25 years he would have still been in his cotton socks a baby the only notification we the constituents have ever received is from Clover Moore monthly emails and she has done a great job never heard Roy say anything good about her achievements ever I suppose this letter is the beginning of a smear campaign to hoist her out big deal but the letter from the Sydney Metropolitan Development Department is on my desk now and arrived yesterday 18th March the letter was dated 1st of March and we the constitue! nts of South Sydney have to put up with outdated information B! arry O’f arrell I say Sack this Roy-Wakelin King now before he makes more mistakes in South Sydney Oh one more thing how about a bus service that circles Redfern South Dowling Street, Cleveland Street, Elizabeth Street, Redfern Station I say put Decals on the side of bus saying welcome to Redfern Station Oh now that would be too hard common Roy make a sensible decision I bet you are in your little government car getting chauffeured around
Thinking About Sensible Resolutions
Posted: 18th March
Story from Elayne, Alexandria resident - On 6 Dec 2010 I was going to work at about 7.40 in the morning. I was going down the stairs to Platform 4. There was an elderly woman going down slowly, holding onto the rail. I was about halfway down the stairs when the train pulled in, so I let go of the rail to go around her in the hope of getting down to the train in time. When I was in the middle of the stairs, with nothing to hold onto, I tripped, and my ankle turned. I fell really heavily on my bottom, which has always been a big worry of mine as I had a double spinal fusion about 30 years ago. I remained sitting on the stairs because I didn’t feel able to get up.
The station master was very nice, he came up and commiserated with me. He had the CCTV footage of it, and I’m sure they don’t still have it, but he made a record of the incident at the time in case I needed it for a workers’ compensation claim. The security guard came up and made me keep sitting there for a while and he had ice to put on my ankle. When I could I got up and went up to his office, and he asked me if I needed a cab, an offer which I accepted. I took it home, I wasn’t up to going to work, but at one point a friend I used to work with went past as I was talking to the station master and the security officer, and she asked if I was alright.
When I reached home I lay on the couch for a while and I worked out that my foot was quite severely injured so I went to Sydney Hospital. The doctor there examined me and said he didn’t think it was a fracture but he gave me the rest of the week off. A couple of days later, about 3 or 4 days later, I went to the physiotherapist and he rang the hospital and asked to be given the report. It said I had fractured a bone and so he gave me a ‘moon boot’. I had to wear the boot for about 2 months. Workers’ compensation ended up being very good – they paid for the physiotherapist and everything. It was very painful, both the foot and physio. After then, I was able to drive the car again and I started going back to work. Driving was pretty expensive, about $12 a day for parking, but I just didn’t feel like going by train and having to use the stairs and even now I don’t like going there, I don’t like going up or down the stairs. And goodness knows how many times this has happened to others. The station master and security guard were both very sympathetic and were obviously very prepared for this sort of incident.
Posted: 11th March
Story from P Gallagher – Saw a pretty gung-ho dsiabled woman coming downstairs by herself, backwards on her wheelchair, using handrail as a guide AND a brake. Scary.
Im also sick of seeing parents of toddlers struggling downstairs holding baby and bags while rail staff take the pram down, and having to get baby in and out of pram. We should organise 200 mums with prams to use station at the same time – that wd get attention.
Its anti- family, anti-disabled, anti-luggage, anti-shoppers with trolleys, anti-oldies. Ludicrous in such a major station.
Posted: 8th March
Story from Jermal, aged 8 - We need a lift at the Station because it is really hard for kids and their grandmothers to get up the stairs when we have all this stuff – shopping bags, prams, scooters, bikes, skateboards. It is hard when we have been to the beach all day and have to climb the stairs with all of the beach stuff. It is much harder for women with strollers and carrying babies. Grandmothers need help to get up the stairs. It is not right.
We need a lift or an escalator or a travelator or a flying fox.
Posted: 7th March
Story from Natasha - I had an accident back in April 2011, I was a train commuter to and from Redfern Station. Having a limp right leg and have to walk up and down the stairs in Redfern Station with all busy commuters running around me was not a pleasant experience. I was very frustrated, scared and angry because there is no easier access for me, other disabled people, elderly, people with prams and wheelchairs. I wish the station will provide a lift for people who need it so they wont have to feel helpless.
Posted: 6th March
Story from Claire Harper - Recently I found a woman at Redfern station in tears, stuck on the platform with a pram and a toddler, unable to get up the stairs. I helped her carry the pram up two flights of stairs. I have a dodgy back, so I was worried I wouldn’t have the strength to do it and we might lose control of the pram and hurt the baby in it. She was grateful, but I was angry. Such a busy station should be able to be used by everyone.
Story from Jacqui Swinburne – Coming home late from the Easter Show a few years back I had a sleeping baby and a toddler in a double pram and the usual amount of showbags etc hanging off the side. When I got to the stairs I just stood there, not knowing what to do.
A worker offered to help me get up the stairs, but only if I ‘removed both children and all the bags’. (Sure he was constrained by over the top OH&S or public liability rules but I could not have physically carried both children and all the bags up either).
Thankfully another member of the public helped me get the pram and kids up the stairs but I stopped using that train station after then and went back to driving everywhere (or to another train station). Too bad for people without cars (oh and the environment).
Posted: 2nd March
Dear Sir, surely in this day, when the population of Australia is ageing
rapidly, a lift at Redfern Station is not a luxury, it is a necessity. I had
one new knee last year and the other knee is now playing up. There is a huge
number of stairs at Redfern and to struggle up or down at the end of a busy
day is really more than I can manage. This means catching taxis or using the
car, which I know is not in favour in New South Wales. Please understand the
comfort of the population which travels by train must come to the fore.
Sincerely Penelope Toltz.
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