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Construction of new platform stops on St Kilda Rd - 11 June to early August 2015
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Safety fences at tram stops designed to herd people onto pedestrian crossings are frustrating commuters who say the barriers are making it harder and more dangerous to get on and off trams.
Pedestrian guard rails built by Stonnington Council nearly 20 years ago on footpaths near traffic light intersections in Prahran, Toorak and Malvern were designed to stop pedestrians from spilling out onto the roads.
But Melbourne's surging population has led to more people using trams on Chapel Street, High Street and Glenferrie Road, and commuters say the fences are trapping them on footpaths and making it difficult to board trams.
Commuters leaving South Yarra train station, heading for a tram, where a fence blocks part of the footpath.CREDIT:CHRIS HOPKINS
Public Transport Users Association spokesman Daniel Bowen said pedestrians wanting to get onto trams were being stopped at the footpath by fences that stretch for up to 20 metres in some locations. Those trying to get off trams were in some cases forced to walk into oncoming traffic to reach the footpath, he said.
Mr Bowen has previously warned that the problem extends beyond the Stonnington Council area, with fences at tram stops in the CBD, including one at the intersection of Bourke and Spencer streets, contributing to a peak-hour crowd crush.
Commuters at the tram stop at corner of Bourke and Spencer streets in the CBD.CREDIT:WAYNE TAYLOR
"The whole thing is slowing down the trams ... it's inconveniencing people having to walk around them and it's slowing down motorists. Drivers are having to wait longer for people getting on and off trams who have to navigate around the fences."
Stonnington Council's chief executive Jacqui Weatherill said there were no plans to remove the fences, noting that pedestrian guard rails were "reviewed when maintenance or roadwork is required".
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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