A shortage of car parking prompted me in May to call on the Government to provide more parking facilities at Eltham, Greensborough and Montmorency.
I'm very pleased to announce that this week we tabled a petition, containing 188 signatures, to urge the government to provide additional parking at these stations so commuters can park and use public transport in a safe and convenient way.
10 May 2017
In May, I recounted the experiences of one regular commuter who is sick of driving around trying to find a park at a railway station each morning. You can read my speech in Parliament below.
"Ms WOOLDRIDGE (Eastern Metropolitan) — My adjournment matter tonight is for the Minister for Public Transport and it relates to a shortage of car parking at the Eltham, Greensborough and Montmorency train stations. The spaces currently provided fall well short of demand and of the need of commuters in my electorate in this area. The frustration in finding a park at the stations or in nearby streets does not only affect early morning commuters, it also affects those who want to travel into the city later in the day using trains. These people are being deterred from doing so due to a lack of available parking.
Recently one regular commuter outlined to me her issues regarding public transport. This constituent loves living in St Helena but finds the public transport problems and the traffic congestion to be exceptionally frustrating. She told me, as have others, that unless she is at the Greensborough railway station by 6.30 a.m. she cannot get a park. If she is unable to find a park at the station her only other option is to pay $5 for parking at a vacant block opposite the station in Para Road, but by 8.00 a.m. this space can also be full. She said, and I quote, 'I could drive to Watsonia station, however that takes me another 20 minutes to drive, and if I'm not there by 7.30 a.m. I don't get a park there either'. If she chose to drive to Eltham station she could get a park, but it would be some distance away at the back of the library and would take nearly 10 minutes to walk to the station. While that is not so bad during summer, she said, it is dark and a bit scary walking back along that dirt road by yourself in winter. And for this commuter, going to Eltham station is going further along the train line, so it is not a great option.
If she chooses to forsake public transport and drive to Abbotsford where she works, she has to face the nightmare of traffic congestion through Eltham getting onto Fitzsimons Lane. Anytime from 7.00 a.m. onwards, this is bumper to bumper. 'One lane of traffic down Main Road once you've crossed over Bridge Street just doesn't cut it', is what she said to me.
Sadly, her commuting woes are all too common. That is why the action I am seeking from the minister and the government is to provide further car parking at these stations, and it is a matter that is reasonably urgent. Commuters who cannot access the train stations will not use public transport, and it is an issue that needs to be resolved, given our highly congested roads, as has been mentioned. This is something that the government can take action on. There has been work with the local council in relation to these matters, and there is the capacity, there are sites and there is the ability to further progress these issues, and I seek that action from the minister."