Unanderra Station misses out on lifts funding

The existing stairway access at Unanderra train station, which has missed out on funding to have lifts installed.
The existing stairway access at Unanderra train station, which has missed out on funding to have lifts installed.

Artarmon rail lift to rise before Unanderra?

Lift access lottery follows loose measurement

It's been confirmed that a train station in Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian's Sydney electorate has jumped the queue for station lifts, and the people of Unanderra aren't happy.

In March, the Mercury reported on claims that Artarmon station, in Mrs Berejiklian's North Shore electorate of Willoughby, had moved ahead of other stations vying for lift access.

Mrs Berejiklian has since announced that Artarmon will be getting lifts and a pedestrian bridge as part of the NSW government's $770 million Transport Access Program (TAP).

The decision means that both stations in Mrs Berejiklian's electorate - Artarmon and Chatswood - will have lift access.

Stations one stop north and south of Artarmon already have lifts installed.

On Tuesday, Mrs Berejiklian declined to address the claim Artarmon had "jumped the queue".

"Station upgrades, as part of the NSW government's Transport Access Program, are selected based on a range of evidence-based criteria including patronage," Mrs Berejiklian said.

"All stations on the network, including Unanderra, are being investigated for potential improvements under the Transport Access Program but the government is catching up on years of under-investment."

A Transport for NSW spokesman said the organisation was "working through the prioritisation process" and more planning and design work would occur to see which projects would be delivered next.

The decision would be based on "evidence-based criteria", such as current and future patronage, proximity to hospitals or educational facilities and accessibility of other transport facilities.

Richard Kramer, who lives in Unanderra, has been campaigning for years to see lifts installed.

A quadriplegic, Mr Kramer has to travel by taxi to either Dapto or Wollongong stations before he can board a train.

He said he was "pissed off" about Artarmon station getting lift access and believes it "clearly jumped ahead of the queue" because Mrs Berejiklian did not reject the claim in March.

"We've been campaigning as a community now for a couple of years," Mr Kramer said.

"Because we're in a Labor seat in a Labor area that's the only reason nothing's going to be done."

NSW Bureau of Transport Statistics barrier count history shows that Artarmon averaged 5200 a day in 2012, compared with Unanderra's 520.

Mr Kramer said the low number for Unanderra was because of the station's limited accessibility.

"Of course others have a higher percentage but if we had an accessible station I think that would double easily," Mr Kramer said.