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Caulfield Station could become a major bottleneck once the $13.7 billion Metro Tunnel is built in 2025, if multimillion-dollar upgrades to construct a new concourse do not go ahead.
The Victorian Transport Action Group is calling for up to $70 million worth of upgrades to the second-busiest station outside the city, arguing Caulfield Station could face overcrowding if the need for better interchange facilities is overlooked.
Caulfield train station.CREDITAUL JEFFERS
The group comprises transport experts, former policy officers and professionals. Their call is backed by Glen Eira mayor Margaret Esakoff and the Public Transport Users Association.
Caulfield Station had 4.7 million myki touch-ons in 2017/18, and patronage is expected to surge once the Metro Tunnel is built in 2025 and airport trains run through Caulfield four years later.
Many passengers using the new Metro Tunnel will interchange at Caulfield, as the new underground rail line connecting the Cranbourne/Pakenham and Sunbury lines will not stop at South Yarra, despite being 400 metres from the station. The government argues the cost of retrofitting the station is too high.
This means that commuters boarding inbound Frankston services at Malvern, Armadale, Toorak or Hawksburn and wanting to access the Metro Tunnel stations will have to travel back to Caulfield to change trains.
Public transport groups say the station needs an upgrade before the Metro Tunnel is complete.CREDITAUL JEFFERS
The same goes for those travelling inbound on the Dandenong line wanting to access South Yarra, Richmond and Parliament stations, if they don’t change at Flinders Street and travel backwards.
The rapidly developing higher density residential precinct Caulfield Village located south of the station will also bring hundreds more residents to the station, which already has Monash University campus to its north and a proposed new light rail link to Monash’s Clayton campus.
Victorian Transport Action Group secretary Mike Reece said upgrades were needed at the heritage-listed station before the Metro Tunnel opened to allow passengers to interchange safely.
“The Frankston line and Dandenong line come together at Caulfield station and as a result, there’s congestion already but that’s going to be exacerbated by the time the Metro Tunnel opens,” Mr Reece said.
“There is potential that a massive bottleneck is going to occur unless the station is redeveloped and the problem is that time is running out.”
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
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