Another group fighting for lifts at Unanderra station

The push for better access to Unanderra station has gotten stronger with a group representing Wollongong disability services joining the campaign. Picture: Adam McLean

The push for better access to Unanderra station has gotten stronger with a group representing Wollongong disability services joining the campaign. Picture: Adam McLean

Sixteen disability service providers have joined forces to push for better access to Unanderra station.

Since early last year the Unanderra Access Group (UAG) has been tirelessly lobbying the NSW government to improve access to the station.

The island platform is only accessible by two sets of stairs, each of which has more than 30 separate steps.

At a meeting with Transport for NSW officials last week, UAG representatives were told an accessibility upgrade “will be carefully considered as part of the program’s ongoing prioritisation process.”

Now the Illawarra Disability Alliance has joined the fight.

The group includes Greenacres Disability Services, Flagstaff Group and the Disability Trust and their plan is to push for more immediate access rather than waiting for lifts.

“We find it appalling that in 2016, people with disability cannot safely access one of the busiest train stations in Wollongong,” Flagstaff Group CEO Roy Rogers said.

“They should open up Berkeley Road to pedestrian access – like Nolan Street Unanderra – which would eliminate the stairs issue. People could then access the station via a ramp.

“This would be a cheaper short-term solution.”

Greenacres CEO Chris Christodolou felt it was only a “matter of time” before someone injured themselves on the stairs.

“It is not only people in wheelchairs that have to cope with hundreds of steps but also parents with prams, the elderly and those commuters with poor mobility,” Mr Christodolou said.

“We believe that the upgrade of Unanderra station is beyond politics and, like the National Disability Insurance Scheme, should receive bipartisan support.”

Disability Trust CEO Margret Bowen said the group was aiming to meet with Transport minister Andrew Constance and Disability Services minister John Ajaka to discuss short and long-term options for the station.

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