Lift access lottery follows loose measurement

NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian

NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian

May has been a busy month for lift access at train stations, with the government announcing plans to construct them at three separate locations.

As well as Artarmon, Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian has this month announced a $32-million project at Marrickville station which includes two lifts, and four at Arncliffe station. The latter is dependent on planning approval.

Arncliffe station is in the Liberal-held electorate of Rockdale while Marrickville is in the state seat of the same name held by the ALP but, due to a redistribution, will disappear at the next election.

Work at these three stations will be funded as part of the $770-million Transport Access Program (TAP).

The program is also funding the new Flinders station and upgrades to Albion Park, Dapto, Unanderra and Austinmer stations.

Under the Liberal government, TAP has also funded a further six stations beyond the three announced this month - including Cardiff, Redfern, Sutherland and Waterfall.

On top of this, lifts are under consideration at Oatley, Flemington, Wentworth Falls and Wentworthville stations.

Under the Liberal government, no stations in the Illawarra have had lifts installed, nor are there any under consideration for lifts, according to the TAP website.

The state Bureau of Transport Statistics keeps a record of the numbers using each station.

The barrier counts show that some of the above stations have a substantially higher number than Unanderra, which sits at a daily average of 520 for 2012.

Artarmon's barrier count for that year was 5200, Marrickville was 3630 and Redfern recorded a whopping 22,060.

But the usage at some other stations that either already have lifts or are under consideration show figures much closer to Unanderra.

At Cardiff station, near Newcastle, the barrier count was 810 while at the Blue Mountains' Wentworth Falls station, where lifts are being considered, the average daily usage was 720.

If the number of commuters using a station is the deciding factor in whether or not the government builds lifts, it would appear the line has been drawn somewhere between 720 and Unanderra's 520.

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