|The following is from today's Sunday Mail. So easy to spend $16.5 million for no one and yet we can't get a few dollars to improve the Goodwood Station underpass. Check the dodgy maths $130,000 a year for 13 years in my book is $1,690,000!! Obviously maths was not something Mr Koutsantonis excelled at when at school! Great comments from Cr Saies.|
The phantom passengers of Wayville rail station
|Sunday Mail Adelaide, Adelaide by Sheradyn Holderhead||23 Feb 2014|
IT’S Adelaide’s newest railway station replete with hi-tech security cameras, television screens and a twisting pedestrian bridge, but the one thing missing from the Wayville station are people.
The $16.5 million Wayville station, opened on Monday, is just a stone’s throw from the existing Keswick station, which the State Government admits was seriously underused.
Infrastructure Minister Tom Koutsantonis said it would be used by more than 1 million visitors each year to events at the Showgrounds and was saving $130,000 a year that was usually spent on a temporaiy platform for the Royal Adelaide Show.
That means the station would pay for itself in 13 years, not taking into account maintenance work, but Unley councillor Michael Saies said it was a waste of money.
Some commuters have agreed, writing on the Noarlunga Commuters Facebook group page that the station is "a waste of time" and "the only person standing at the station was a security guard".
Cr Saies said it would have to be the most substantial station in Adelaide but would only be used by a large number of people for the Show and a handful of other major events.
"Of course, it’s a nice station and looks really good, but I think the expenditure is over the top. It’s a station to nowhere 357 days of the year," Cr Saies said.
"I just get sick of the spin that goes with these things. We were told by the department that it would be an absolute winner and used so much for functions at the Showground.
"If people seriously want to use trains to get to the Showground, they would have got off at Keswick. Someone coming from Salisbuiy is not going to suddenly catch the train because they can get out right at the door when they wouldn't have previously because they’d have to get off at Keswick." Cr Saies said the money would have been better spend upgrading other stations on the line or used for other community infrastructure such as local spoils clubs.
The new station is just 500m north of the existing Goodwood station, which is much closer to homes and businesses and the Unley swimming pool.
The Transport Department website lists the benefits of the new station as being a visually appealing and safe station, better access to Ashford Hospital and businesses on Anzac Hwy both served by buses and improved visibility from the main roads.
It features canopied platforms for both the Belair and the Seaford/Tonsley lines, a pedestrian footbridge over the rail lines and station platforms, bicycle parking rails and landscaping.
Mr Koutsantonis said it was a permanent, state-of-the-aft station that would service the more than 4500 people who live and work nearby as well as the more than 1 million visitors to the Showgrounds each year.
"Goodwood Rd is an extremely busy road and by encouraging people to take the train direct to the Showgrounds we can ease congestion and parking issues, particularly during major events," he said.
"We are also saving $130,000 a year by no longer having to construct and dismantle a temporary platform for the Royal Adelaide Show."