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Angry Bayswater residents are calling for a redesign of the suburb's soon-to-be-built train station after the plans were mocked on social media over their resemblance to a Bunnings trestle table.
The group of 140 locals plans to present a petition to Parliament calling for a re-think of the design, which they say differs from original drawings released in 2018 and looks like "a bulky freeway overpass".
The shelters of the proposed Bayswater train station have been the source of social media jokes for their resemblance to a Bunnings trestle table.
Designs for the transport hub were unveiled by Planning Minister Rita Saffioti in June, along with plans for four other stations along Metronet's billion-dollar Ellenbrook line.
Artist's impressions by designer Coleman Rail show plans for an outdoor station on an overpass above King William Street, in the heart of town, with trackside shelters and retail spaces on the ground floor.
Paul Shanahan, the chairman of Future Bayswater, the community group behind the petition, said the new plans lacked any architectural merit and had become a "social media joke".
"They are completely at odds with what was originally sold to the community," Mr Shanahan said.
"This is a project of state significance and deserves the development of a station that is comfortable and attractive for commuters and will encourage people to use public transport."
Mr Shanahan's comments have been echoed by opposition transport spokeswoman Libby Mettam, who said residents had been hoodwinked over the new train station.
"Despite months of community consultation over the design and aesthetics, the final plan has been
compared to four trestle tables slapped on top of a freeway overpass," she said.
"It is also impractical and dysfunctional with no barriers protecting commuters from the wind and
rain on the platforms."
Original impressions unveiled in 2018 included a curved station design with wide shelters and alfresco dining areas on the ground floor, surrounded by landscaped gardens.
Metronet documents show the plans were supported by more than 300 community members, who expressed only minor concerns about reduced parking access to Hamilton Street.
Mr Shanahan said the current design lacked escalators, threatened to divide the town, and included plans to build an obstructive 10-metre-high viaduct running through the heart of town.
"People living the shadow of the viaduct are already considering selling out," he said.
Artist's impression of the proposed Bayswater train station released in 2018.
The plans have also attracted criticism online, with social media users calling the transport hub an "absolutely disgusting concrete monstrosity".
"Looks like it’s designed in the 80s. Couldn’t be any uglier and it looks like they’ve run out of budget on this project," one social media user wrote.
Another user said the outcome was very disappointing for long-term residents of the area.
Ms Saffioti said designs for the station were "continuing to be refined" with direct input from a community reference group and local stakeholders.
"We look forward to continuing to work with the community on this important job creating Metronet project," she said.
The construction of stations at Ellenbrook, Whiteman Park, Malaga, Noranda and Morley will be the state’s biggest public transport project since construction of the Mandurah line.
The stations will connect 21 kilometres of rail in the north-eastern corridor to the redeveloped Bayswater station and on to the city. Work is due to begin within the next two years.
This article first appeared on www.watoday.com.au
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