Station revamp could include town centre spring clean

 

Strathfield rail station, the state’s third biggest travel hub with 40,000 commuters using it a day, is to get a major facelift.

The changes will see more space on the concourse, safety cameras and improved lighting and hygiene.

Additional funds for cleaning up the town centre entrance to improve the commuter experience are under consideration, although the extent of these changes is unclear.

Strathfield MP Charles Casuscelli has asked council to consider making funds available for a clean up of the area outside the station. But Mayor Gulian Vaccari says he will only spend “minimal amounts”, concerned that the town centre redevelopment plans would mean the money would be wasted.

The moves to brighten up the station come after representations to transport minister Gladys Berejiklian by Casuscelli, who told the Scene the station was a priority issue with residents.

 “Upgrades will include creating more space on the main concourse for customers and relocating passenger information displays so they’re more convenient," Casuscelli said. "We will also improve lighting and install CCTV within the paid concourse area.

“Strathfield Station has been flagged as a priority under the NSW Government’s $770 million Transport Access Program, designed to improve transport infrastructure and make public transport an attractive option for customers across the state.

"I have advocated for these upgrades because local residents have told me how important they are. I took some key officials from the transport minister's office through the station just last month and it is great to see how seriously they have taken the concerns of Strathfield and surrounding areas".

In an interview with the Scene,  the MP revealed Mayor Gulian Vaccari was considering plans to clean up the area outside the station.

“Transport New South Wales was just going to rejig the concourse and put displays in appropriate areas and make the flows work better," Casuscelli said.

“I said, you can’t just do that; you’ve got slippery tiles.

“The transport minister wants the customer experience to be better. But when you approach Strathfield Station, it looks like rubbish.

“I’m expecting a refurb of the ramps and the bottom area, fixing leaks and the dilapidated condition.

“At the same time I am talking to the mayor of Strathfield to improve the aesthetics of the approaches. Then I have to talk to the Burwood and Canada Bay about fixing up the other side of the station.”

Mayor Vaccari told the Scene he was considering the request, but it had to be looked at in the context of the town centre development plan.

“The council is in the process of looking at the whole town centre development," he said. "If we are talking about spending tiny amounts of money to fix small problems like new garbage bins of broken tiles, let’s do it. 

“But if we are talking about spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, I couldn’t justify that to the community if we are going to rip it all up. I need to see exactly what Charles [Casuscelli] wants.

“If Charles is happy to pay, we’re happy to do anything.”

Casuscelli maintained the WestConnex motorway project, expected to begin planning in earnest at the end of the year, could delay Strathfield’s town centre plans.

He said the town centre underground bus/rail interchange was three to five years away “so a couple of hundred grand to tidy up the station on your side of the fence is not a waste. The constituents will appreciate it.

“And we’ve got to be realistic. The town centre project could be driven by any number of different models. The WestConnex now has put a completely unthought-of variable in the mix, which in itself has significant implications for it.”


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