Station still waits for upgrade
Eleven months after work was announced by the State Government there is still no action on lift access and carpark
AFTER more than a decade of campaigning and 11 months after the State Government earmarked their station for an upgrade, Rooty Hill residents are still without lift access to the train platforms.
Mulgoa state Liberal MP Tanya Davies’ announcement last June of a major upgrade at the station was met with scepticism by Mt Druitt state Labor MP Edmond Atalla.
He remains frustrated that lifts have not been fasttracked as part of the urgent need to refurbish the decades-old station.
He is annoyed by the government’s lack of answers as to why the elderly and people with disabilities still do not have easy access.
“Their (the government) response is that it is in the planning stage,” Mr Atalla said. “Every time I ask that’s what they say, I can’t get any more answers.”
When The Standard contacted Transport for NSW it would not release any new details about the upgrade, a spokeswoman saying the “design process” was still under way.
“A delivery schedule for the proposed project will be announced at the completion of the design process,’’ she said.
The department said the major upgrade to Rooty Hill station, funded under the government’s Transport Access Program, would improve access and create more commuter car parking spaces.
The spokeswoman could not provide an updated time- line on when the upgrade would begin, or be completed, but she said site investigations had helped develop a concept design for the project and detailed planning continued.
“Community members will be able to comment on the proposed upgrade following the completion of the design process,’’ she said.
Mr Atalla identified a development application for an aged-care centre, made up of five large build-
Their response is that it is in the planning stage. Every time I ask that’s what they say, I can’t get any more answers Edmond Atalla
ings, to be built next to the south side of Rooty Hill station and said lift access should be expedited to meet the anticipated increased demand.
Bob Irwin, a 70-year-old Rooty Hill resident, said he had lived in the area for decades and a lift had been needed for a long time.
“We came here in 1969 and in those days my wife would go down with one or two kids in the stroller, and you’d get the stationmaster’s attention and he unlocked a gate for you to get over the rails and miss the steps,’’ he said.
“But you can’t do that anymore – there’d be a thousand reasons why.”
Mr Irwin questioned whether the NSW Government had put the needs of a Labor-held seat lower down the list of priorities.
“There’s a funny thing with Liberal and Labor, they don’t seem to work together,” he said.
Ms Davies said Transport for NSW was working closely with Blacktown Council to cater to the community’s needs. “I look forward to seeing the design and planning work progress for the Rooty Hill station upgrade and will keep the community informed on the next steps,’’ she said.
Mulgoa state Liberal MP Tanya Davies announces the multi million dollar upgrade for Rooty Hill station last June.
Bob and Marion Irwin have lived in Rooty Hill for 46 years and are in favour of a lift on the northern side of Rooty Hill train station. (Right) Chifley federal Labor MP Ed Husic led a rally in June 2013 to lobby for upgrades to Rooty Hill and Doonside stations.