By Brendan Rees
Renewed pushes are being made to increase public car parking at Cranbourne Railway Station.
Casey Resident and Ratepayers Association (CRRA) president Arvo Talvik said chronic overcrowding of railway car parking at Cranbourne was “out of control”.
He said people could not get a car park after 7am and called for new train stations to be built at Clyde and Cranbourne East.
“It’s not getting out of control. It is out of control.”
Mr Talvik said he was puzzled as to why a train line extension had not been considered.
“The thing I don’t understand about all this is they’ve got the land. The infrastructure like the rail signals have to be put in that’s going to cost a bit of money I’m sure.”
“Even if they made it one line at this point in time that would be a good start because if they did build Cranbourne East and Clyde the parking would alleviate the stress on Cranbourne,” Mr Talvik said.
“That’s what we lack is an infrastructure plan. Let’s do Clyde for starters. If they were smart they would build from Clyde towards Cranbourne East and from Cranbourne East to Cranbourne.”
He said building a multi-platform car park at Cranbourne was also an option.
“I’m reluctant to say how many stories but I would say a minimum of three to four.”
“I’m speaking on behalf of this myself but if I raise this with CRRA I suspect that would get their support.”
Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) president Tony Morton said the Cranbourne area was experiencing dramatic urban growth yet “lacked effective” public transport services.
He said PTUA raised the need for an extension to Clyde when the urban boundary was extended in 2008.
“It grows out of the abortive 1999 Bracks promise of a suburban extension to Cranbourne East to serve Casey Fields. Casey Fields itself suffers from appalling congestion and parking woes on a regular basis.”
He said an extension along the existing easement from Cranbourne along the former South Gippsland line, in conjunction with duplication of the track from Dandenong, was warranted to cater for the “large volumes of travel”.
Mr Morton said bus networks also needed “drastic improvement” to cater for local travel and access to railway stations, providing an alternative that facilitates travel without adding to road congestion.
Casey councillor Amanda Stapledon said train stations were “desperately” needed at Cranbourne East and Clyde.
“The car parking is a nightmare. We can’t keep up with it. Better bus services and more stations would alleviate some of the car parking but it would also mean residents would have more confidence in using the public transport system,” she said.
“We need the railway line duplicated between Dandenong and Clyde. And ideally would love a boutique station at Casey Fields where people could get off, play their sport and hop on the station again.”
Cr Stapledon said the council had lobbied the State Government, but added “we’ll be doing a lot more of it” leading up to the state election.
Cranbourne MP Jude Perera said he was advocating for an extension of the Cranbourne line from Cranbourne to Clyde via Cranbourne East.
“More trains more often on the Cranbourne line and delivering more car parks at our local railway stations starting with Merinda Park Railway Station.
“I am always advocating for a better public transport system in our local area. Unlike the Liberals who simply drove the Cranbourne Rail Line into the ground during four wasted years – we are getting on with it,” Mr Perera said.
Shadow Minister for Public Transport David Davis said the Coalition would make announcements towards the state election on transport policy and other matters.
“Given the massive population growth in the corridor beyond Cranbourne, including Cranbourne East and Clyde, more transport options will be needed. Rail extensions and increased capacity must be under consideration,” he said.
Census statistics for 2016 showed 8.5 per cent of people travelled to work by public transport in the Cranbourne electorate with 79.2 per cent of people who travelled by car to work.
The CRRA will hold an annual general meeting on the 18 November, from 10am to noon, at Hampton Park Community Centre. All Casey residents are welcome.