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Tuesday, 2 July 2013

What will this mean for the elderly and disabled?

Resident Robert Riggs has written to the rail revitalisation team and government ministers to give his views on what the underpass will mean for disabled and elderly people.  We post excerpts of his views with his permission.

PROPOSED UNDERPASS A DISASTER FOR THE DISABLED

It has come to my attention via a rail revitalization newsletter dated June 2013 that the Governments preferred option at the Marion railway station for access is via a new underpass.
This is the worst possible option for any one with a disability.  In my wife's case she has arthritis in both knees and while she is still mobile, any slope is a challenge and is a challenge she would rather avoid.  
With over 140 metres of ramp to traverse - and then the ramps exit/ entry at the very end of the northern railway platform - this will create an installation that is a disaster for not only herself, but anyone with a disability and particularly anyone in a wheel chair.
I, along with many people in my area am now classified as elderly and accessible public transport is critical for access to events, shopping, and recreation.  I feel our needs are being ignored.
I would like to know why the commonly accepted ‘best practice’ installation of pedestrian boom gates is not occurring at least at one end of the station platform. The boom gate option is inherently safer, particularly at night and even during the day from third party issues of robbery, sexual attacks, etc, far cheaper and does not provide any barrier for the disabled.  The cost difference between an underpass and boom gates must also be very significant. 
The recently refurbished Oaklands Station has two sets of mini boom gates at a station that handles a higher number of train passengers of all ages and has been built to be disability friendly.
I ask Government through you why they appear to be hell bent on agreeing to an installation that has proved over the years to be unsightly, unsafe and lacking in easy accessibility; to the point that many such installations through public concerns have been removed.  

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