The Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region, Shaun Leane, today announced a big win for the community with lifts now included in the station enhancements as part of the Blackburn Road Level Crossing Removal Project.

The lift investigations were advocated by the Stakeholder Liaison Group (SLG) earlier this year. Leading the advocacy was Woody Marriott from the Eastern Disability Advocacy Group and representatives from Nadrasca disability services.

The group pushed for lifts to be considered in the scoping of significant improvements to the Blackburn Station precinct as part of the Level Crossing Removal Project.

While initial plans did not include a lift, feedback from the SLG determined that access was an important issue, and the design team worked on a solution to meet this need.

The project includes lowering the rail line below Blackburn Road and enhancing the station forecourts and access, as well as construction of a shared use walking/cycling path from the station to Springvale Road.

The existing ramp will remain at the central platform and a lift will be added enabling users to rise directly from the underpass up to the platform.

A second lift will also be included on the Northern forecourt into the underpass. New stairs and Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) compliant ramps will provide access for all users at the southern and northern access points.

The project also includes extensive drainage work to remedy flooding in the underpass. The entrances will be enhanced to allow in more natural light, with the handrail and spoon drain through the underpass being removed to create more usable width. Upgrades will also be made to CCTV and lighting to increase security.

Station forecourt areas will be upgraded to improve shelter, connection to local shops and businesses. Access to car parks and the bus interchange will enhance the character of Blackburn Village and the existing playground and informal market areas will also be upgraded.

In addition, when the boom gates are removed at the level crossing, and the footpath at Blackburn Road is widened, pedestrians will be able to move around Blackburn Village much more safely and easily.

The new lifts will not only improve access for those who are less mobile, but the enhancement of the Blackburn underpass and Station precinct will also provide a safer, dryer, cleaner connection for all customers.

The designs are currently being finalised and will be shared with the community in the coming months.

Construction is continuing to ramp up, with major works scheduled for June/July including a rail and road closure. The project will be complete mid-2017.

Information is available on the Level Crossing Removal Authority website

Quotes attributable to The Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region, Shaun Leane

“We take seriously and appreciate the feedback we are receiving about the projects from the Stakeholder Liaison Group.”

“The Andrews Government is getting on with the job to deliver the Blackburn Level Crossing Removal Project”.

“This project now includes improving accessibility at the station with two new lifts that will make catching the train easier for people in wheelchairs or with injuries, parents with prams and the elderly.”