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On a recent trip to Tokyo, Michael Ryan had to reach the edges of the city to find a station neglected nearly as badly as his local South Kensington stop.
"There's never been an upgrade to it at all," Mr Ryan said of the West Melbourne station, just two stops from the CBD.
Narrow platforms have led to severe overcrowding, with an extra 300,000 people using the station, compared with 13 years ago.
Michael Ryan commutes from South Kensington station - one of the worst stations in Melbourne, according to the latest RACV survey.CREDIT:JUSTIN MCMANUS
Commuters frequently miss their trains and are pushed over the yellow safety line, while the station lacks shelter and car parking.
It’s no surprise then, that South Kensington has been voted Victoria's worst train station in a survey of 25,000 commuters by the RACV.
From the platforms, Mr Ryan can see "cranes galore" at Kensington – where major construction is under way for the $11 billion Metro Tunnel – and wonders why his station has been ruled "out of scope". About 65 per cent of commuters surveyed said they felt unsafe at the station.
"If you're ever going to do an upgrade, now is the time," Mr Ryan said. "We are already putting up with three years of construction."
However, a slew of brand new or upgraded stations built by the Andrews government in Melbourne's north and south-east, have been given the tick of approval by commuters in the biannual survey.
Hawkstowe, a new station built in 2018 as part of the $600 million Mernda extension, took the top spot, while two other stations built along the eight-kilometre extension – Middle Gorge and Mernda – came up in the top 10.
The RACV asked commuters to rate stations against key criteria, such as cleanliness, availability of car parking and safety.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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