By CASEY NEILL
DANDENONG South’s disused General Motors railway station should be reinstated to cut commute times for workers in the growing job precinct.
Kaye Eastwood and Public Transport Users Association are also calling for a safe pedestrian pathway across the rail line at Progress Street.
The General Motors station opened in October 1956 to service the General Motors Holden car factory, and closed in July 2002.
“The area has changed and there’s a need for it again,” Ms Eastwood said.
“There’s so much industry and business.”
Her son Adam has a disability and works at Gateway Industries, in Progress Street.
“I have to drive him because it’s such a long haul to get to there,” she said.
“He’s got to catch a bus in the morning here by 6am, then he’s got to catch a train, then he’s got to catch another bus to get to the end of Progress Street on Princes Highway and then he’s got to walk up.”
Ms Eastwood also has concerns about the safety of the Progress Street level crossing.
“We’ve been on and on it to try and get it fixed,” she said.
“There’s no pathway for the pedestrians to go across. They have to go out on the road.
“It’s fallen on deaf ears all the time.”
Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) president Tony Morton supported a station in the Dandenong South industrial precinct, given the long distance between the Dandenong and Hallam stations.
“If there were adequate buses serving the estate from Dandenong this would help, but there’s little to lose and much to gain from having a station here,” he said.
“Given the state of the station now, it’s an open question whether the existing station should be refurbished or a new station location developed in the same area.”
Mr Morton said it would make sense to grade-separate the Progress Street crossing in conjunction with a new or refurbished station.
“There must be adequate provision for pedestrians including clear sight lines and appropriate lighting,” he said.
“In the interim, the Progress Street crossing needs a proper pedestrian treatment including automatic gates in accordance with current standards.”
A spokesman for Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said there were no plans to reinstate the General Motors station, which the 892 bus route linked to Dandenong Railway Station.
He said the State Government took to the last election a list of 50 level crossings it would remove, based on traffic congestion, safety, alternative routes available and economic benefits.
“The Progress Street level crossing has not been identified for removal in the first 50, but the nearby crossings at South Gippsland Highway and Abbotts Road have been, and will be removed in the next seven years,” the spokesman said.
“The removal of Progress Street level crossing will be considered in the future.”