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A PLAN to reinstate announcements at two train stations has been met with fury from residents.
An action group says Waverton and Wollstonecraft stations have been free from regular announcements for about seven years after a deal struck with transport authorities.
Sydney Trains is now investigating a new digital announcements system to bring the stations up to speed with disability legislation.
The Waverton Wollstonecraft Rail Noise Action Group is campaigning for a quieter solution.
“It would be between 1000 to 2000 announcements per day,” spokesman Brian McGlynn said.
“People are horrified. Can you imagine having announcements through your house all day, every day?”
The group gathered at Waverton station to show their anger. Picture: Virginia YoungMr McGlynn explained that a number of homes are on the edge of the platform and emergency announcements can be heard up to 200m away. The group says it was notified last year of the planned change.
Legal advice suggested that transport authorities do not need to have announcements to be compliant with legislation and instead just need to make provisions for people with disabilities.
The group is suggesting a console that would provide announcements.
“Two to three people suffered it before who became close to a nervous breakdown as a result,” he said.
“We very much support providing the right support (to people with disabilities).
“We have a problem with 2000 announcements a day.”
Sydney Trains is reviewing options for announcements.A letter from a Sydney Trains executive seen by the Mosman Daily states that it is planning to upgrade the public announcements system to a more “sophisticated digital system”.
The letter stated a console would not alleviate the legal responsibility to provide announcements for visually impaired customers.
North Sydney Council is backing the group and is writing to Sydney Trains, Premier Gladys Berejiklian and federal MP Trent Zimmerman about the issue.
The council is also urging Sydney Trains to explore alternative measures to address the needs of visually impaired passengers.
A spokesman for Sydney Trains said it understands there are some community concerns about the announcements and would look at solutions that both meet the requirements and minimise impact on neighbours.
“Sydney Trains must comply with its obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport and has been reviewing options for appropriate announcements at both Waverton and Wollstonecraft stations,” he said.
“Sydney Trains has been looking at plans to upgrade the public announcement system to a more sophisticated digital system to ensure all customers have adequate access to information.”
This article first appeared on www.dailytelegraph.com.au
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