Point Clare railway station has missed out on step-free access, despite a huge State Government pledge to provide major improvements at five stations in The Entrance electorate, says Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch.
Tesch said the Liberal Government had embarked on a spend-a-thon in the north of the region, with upgrades slated for Lisarow, Niagara Park, Narara, Tuggerah and Ourimbah railway stations, but none for stations in the Gosford electorate, despite community pressure.
“Despite a great ongoing campaign by the community, Point Clare Station has been ignored,” Tesch said.
“The community has been working hard to show the tremendous need for step free access at Point Clare station, they’ve signed petitions, and I’ve spoken in Parliament, but the Minister has refused to invest in Point Clare station.”
“The Transport Access Program has been subject to the political whims of the State Government and the money is not going to where it is needed.
“A list of 100 priority projects was created in 2013, but since then, only five (stations) have had lifts installed,” Tesch said.
Koolewong Point Clare-Tascott Progress Association Secretary, Helen Orchard, said the omission was very disappointing.
“We have been agitating since about 2014 for step-free access at the station,” she said.
“There is simply no access for anyone who is disabled.
“To go north to Gosford, you have to go up numerous stairs, and even though there is a pathway to the station heading south, there are still stairs at the end of it.
“My husband is disabled and we simply can’t use the trains at all, like many other people.
“A lift would make all the difference.
“With the Member for Berowra also recently announcing station upgrades in his electorate, it does seem to be politically motivated and we just keep missing out.”
Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Andrew Constance, said last week that two new lifts would be installed at Tuggerah, Narara, Lisarow and Ourimbah stations, and three at Niagara Park.
Tuggerah will also receive a multi-storey carpark.
“Installing lifts at all of these Central Coast train stations will benefit our less mobile customers, including those with a disability, limited mobility and parents with prams,” he said.
Liberal candidate for The Entrance, Brian Perrem, said the community and other stakeholders would have the opportunity to provide feedback on proposed designs at all the stations as part of the planning approval process.”
Upgrades could include new lifts to existing footbridges and improvements to pedestrian pathways and ramps, as well as the creation of new accessible parking spaces and amenities such as family accessible toilets.
Media release, Jan 23
Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Andrew Constance
Media release, Jan 24
Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch
Interview, Jan 25
Helen Orchard, Koolewong Point Clare-Tascott Progress Association