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Works at Queensland railway stations are expected to not only improve accessibility, but also provide a welcome employment fillip.
INVESTMENTS aimed at making public transport more accessible across Queensland are being implemented.
This is part of the state government’s $500m station accessibility program.
A 500-tonne crane recently lifted in a brand-new pedestrian footbridge at Cannon Hill station, one of 17 stations in the south east being overhauled to make them more accessible, including for those with a disability and older people.
Inspecting the works with Bulimba MP Di Farmer, transport minister Mark Bailey said making stations more accessible was key to encouraging public transport use, especially with the downturn in patronage during the pandemic.
“What we’ve seen during COVID is more people moving to Queensland because of the way we continue to manage the health response, and it’s vital from a public transport perspective that the accessibility is there to accommodate our diverse and growing population,” Bailey said.
The government recently announced members of its Queensland Accessible Transport Advisory Council to give a voice to those with vision, hearing, physical or cognitive impairments, older people, parents and youth groups when it comes to building public transport.
“There’s $26.9 billion worth of transport and road projects coming over the next four years plus the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project, all supporting close to 30,000 jobs, and I think we can all agree that we want them to be as accessible to as many people as possible,” he said.
Mr Bailey said in addition to works happening at Cannon Hill, station upgrades were also occurring at Dakabin, Auchenflower, East Ipswich, Fairfield and Yeronga, with upgrades at Yeerongpilly, Moorooka, Rocklea, Salisbury, Banyo, Bundamba, Burpengary, Wooloowin, Lindum and Morningside to follow.
Those upgrades will feature new footbridges, lifts, accessible car parks, raised platforms, upgraded hearing augmentation loops, tactile platform surfaces, updated security, lighting and station signage.
“That’s on top of what the Palaszczuk Government is doing more broadly with the $335 million program to fix the NGRs, new stations in the Brisbane CBD and on the Gold Coast, light rail Stage 3 to Burleigh, and our commitment to build new trains in Maryborough,” he said.
“Regionally, we’ve also seen new accessible buses rolled out across major hubs by our partners who operate public transport and upgrades to train stations along the spine of the North Coast line.
Minister for Employment and Small Business and Member for Bulimba Di Farmer said making public transport more accessible was so essential for everyone to participate in their communities and to access vital services.
“Benefits of station upgrades are two-fold, with greater access to public transport for the community and a boost to our economic recovery plan with job creation and infrastructure.
Ms Farmer said construction on the Cannon Hill station upgrade was expected to be completed by early next year, weather and construction conditions permitting.
This article first appeared on railexpress.com.au
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