Transport for NSW has announced that Wimbo Park in Surry Hills will be ‘future proofed’ to allow for an additional light rail stop on the CBD and South East Light Rail route.
The announcement follows a local community campaign calling for a second Surry Hills stop, to increase accessibility and to bring that stretch of the route in-line with the rest of the project.
The Member for Newtown Jenny Leong said:
“The announcement of plans to future-proof for a second light rail stop in Surry Hills at Wimbo Park is credit to the strong local community campaign, which we've been pleased to play a role in. But it has to be asked, if the Government recognises there’ll be a need for the stop in the future, why not minimise disruption and cost and deliver it now?”
“Like many, the Greens originally supported the route up busy Oxford St, not Devonshire St. So we were happy to back a local community campaign to try to improve access for the residents that will be impacted by it.”
“Along the rest of the route, a station has been planned at the top and bottom of every hill – but not in Surry Hills. Building a second stop at Wimbo Park now will fix this anomaly and improve accessibility for locals, particularly the elderly, parents with prams and anyone with a mobility issue.”
“Planning and construction for the light rail has caused so much grief for local residents and raised much concern about environmental and heritage damage. We hope that this announcement is a sign that the Baird Liberal Government are going to start listening to the community and taking their concerns seriously,” she said.
Greens NSW Transport spokesperson Mehreen Faruqi said:
“In building new transport projects, the government should prioritise expanding transport access to as many people as possible. An additional stop in Surry Hills would provide much greater transport access for local residents.
“This light rail project should benefit residents, and not simply the sport and entertainment venues along the route of the line, whose patrons will have a more direct route from the city.
“We have seen too often that infrastructure projects in NSW have been pushed through with a lack of transparency and accountability. When residents, businesses and communities along the light rail route raise concerns or give suggestions that will improve the project, they need to be heard.”
“The Government has ignored the community at many stages of this project – in putting the route along Devonshire St, in decimating heritage trees that could have been protected. It’s time that the Baird Liberal government actually listened to what the community wants and responded appropriately,” she said.
Local resident Biddy Oquist said:
“Those of us who have been campaigning for a second Light Rail stop in Surry Hills are disappointed that we don’t have a firm commitment to build a Wimbo Park stop now, but we are pleased that the Government has indicated that they are listening to our community.”
“The light rail track slices Surry Hills in half – but under the current plan it won’t provide a genuine transport option for a large proportion of residents including the frail elderly, people with mobility issues, families and others.”
“From talking to our neighbours it is clear that there is demand for an additional Surry Hills stop. People in our area want to use accessible and reliable public transport.”
“The Government should be encouraging sustainable transport use by building appropriate public transport infrastructure that meets community needs,” she said.