Less than half of Queensland's train stations are fully accessible. At Maiwar stations Taringa and Auchenflower, navigation is practically impossible for people who use a wheelchair for mobility, our ageing population who may use a walking frame, or parents with prams.
Queensland Rail has a Station Accessibility Upgrade Program designed to address accessibility issues but it doesn’t include any timeframe for upgrades at Auchenflower Station, and Taringa Station isn’t mentioned at all. The Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey has already admitted defeat, and says we won't meet the 2022 deadline for compliance with federal disability standards. Even when currently scheduled upgrades are completed, less than 60% of Queensland's train stations will comply with the standards.
The missing ingredient in this scenario is political will.
I’ve asked Minister Bailey to reverse that resignation and commit to full accessibility by the 2022 deadline. You can read his most recent letter to me here, and my response (which talks specifically about the urgent need for upgrades at Taringa) here.
Auchenflower station upgrade submissions
Auchenflower station is scheduled for upgrades, but we don’t know much about what they’ll include, or when they’ll be completed.
I’ve made a submission based on my consultation with disability advocacy groups, individuals and other local organisations (which you can view on my website), and I’d encourage you to do the same - especially if you use Auchenflower station and/or have access needs which should be considered in the upgrade design.
Writing a submission of your own is really easy. All you need to do is write an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Start by mentioning how you're impacted by the lack of access at this station (do you live near by, do you use the station, or are you unable because of its dismal accessibility).
2. Your input on the design: any thoughts or requests for what the station should include (any particular features etc). We are particularly highlighting that the Auchenflower station upgrade design should include a mechanism to allow disability access to one of the platforms via the underpass or directly from the street, by way of a lift or other design solution, which doesn't seem to be included in the current plans. We are also highlighting that the upgrade should also include better provisions for people cycling to the station.
3. Be sure to mention that you feel more needs to be done to upgrade all stations in QLD, including the nearby Taringa Station (for which there is no upgrade plan at all).
Please join me in calling on the Minister to fund accessibility upgrades to meet disability standards and accepted community functionality at Taringa Station and Auchenflower Station by signing this petition.
Accessibility upgrades are an investment, not a cost. Full accessibility at train stations in Maiwar, and all other stations on the QR network, is incredibly important, to ensure each and every citizen can exercise their right to engage with our broader community.
Check out the video I made with visiting WA Senator Jordon Steele-John, who was shocked at the state of our stations here!
PETITION to the Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey MP and the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland:
Currently, more than half of the state’s train stations do not comply with federal disability standards for public transport. These standards mandate that all stations in Queensland must be upgraded by 2022. There is still no clear plan for how the government will get there.
The social and economic benefits of public transport accessibility are very clear, yet Taringa and Auchenflower Stations still have major accessibility issues. This excludes many members of our community from using the stations, hindering their access to the rest of our public transport network.
We understand both Queensland Rail and the Queensland Government are committed in principle to making public transport accessible for all. Now it’s time to turn this commitment into action. Accordingly, your petitioners request the Government fund and install accessibility upgrades to Taringa Station and Auchenflower Station by 2020. We also request the Government commit to a binding, fully funded plan to make all of Queensland’s train stations fully accessible.