Commuter: Wenty upgrade lacks consultation

Peter Simpson at Wentworthville Station. Picture: Natalie Roberts.

Peter Simpson at Wentworthville Station. Picture: Natalie Roberts.

Wheelchair user Peter Simpson claims there is a lack of community consultation on the Wentworthville station lift upgrade.

Last week, the state government announced a $150 million package to upgrade six western Sydney train stations, including Wentworthville.

On July 31, transport minister Gladys Berejiklian said the government has been able to finalise the scope and fast-track the tender process for “major access upgrades” at  Wentworthville.

But Mr Simpson, 61, one of the 11,000 people who signed a 2013 petition for lifts at Wentworthville, said he was concerned the final design would see the removal of existing ramps at the station.

He feared community consultation on the design would happen too late for local commuters to influence it and that the existing ramps at the station could be removed.

“They are only going to community consultation as an afterthought,” Mr Simpson said.

“[There has been] no consultation with anyone, not even council. Everyone in the CBD does not know what is going on. I have tried through local members and councillors to get ‘in the loop’ with their ‘concept’. Nothing happens.

“They have not contacted Holroyd Council about any changes to the footpath, which would be required for a lift with ramp and stairs, as the only place a lift could go is the end of the concourse down onto footpath [with the] footpath redesigned."

Ms Berejiklian said this the announcement last week entailed a "huge boost" for thousands of western Sydney customers, especially older people, people with a disability and parents with prams.

“This multi-million dollar investment is on top of station upgrades and new commuter car parks already underway or completed in Western Sydney as part of the NSW Government’s $770 million Transport Access Program,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Labor’s record in Western Sydney was a disgrace - the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is working hard and making huge improvements to public transport in western Sydney."

In June last year, the state government announced it would fund lifts for the station. On April 1 this year, Holroyd councillors Lisa Lake and Greg Cummings pushed for an official update on the project and timeline details from transport minister Gladys Berejiklian.

At the time, Cr Lake told the Sun a promise was made ‘‘and we’d like it to be honoured’’.

In April, a spokesman for Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said ‘‘detailed design’’ work was ‘‘being completed now [April]’’ for the upgrade, with planning approval documents to be placed on public exhibition ‘‘later this year’’.

On July 18, a Transport for NSW spokesman planning work was underway to deliver a multi-million dollar ‘‘major accessibility upgrade’’ at Wentworthville and tenders would be called in the coming months.

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