Bayswater residents have sinking feeling over rail plan: Forrestfield Airport Link

Locals Andrew Watt, Michael Freeburn, Gary Warne and Geoff Hodder are calling for the upgrade of Bayswater train station. Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au   d443428
Locals Andrew Watt, Michael Freeburn, Gary Warne and Geoff Hodder are calling for the upgrade of Bayswater train station. Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au d443428

BAYSWATER residents are calling for the Forrestfield Airport Link to include significant upgrades to the train station, including sinking of the rail line.

Baysie Rollers members believe sinking the rail line at the existing King William Street subway would connect the Bayswater town centre, improve traffic and activate the precinct.

Member Andrew Watt said the Forrestfield Airport Link could be the catalyst to revitalise the town centre and an opportunity for political leaders to show they understood how to generate sustainable community and economic benefit from public infrastructure projects.

“The opportunity isn’t missed yet, but will be soon if there isn’t some deeper thought, strategy and action that ensures that this important public infrastructure project delivers broader benefits than just a new train line,” he said.

“The Public Transport Authority should be working in partnership with the City of Bayswater to develop a plan for the revitalisation of the Bayswater town centre, with a redeveloped Bayswater train station at its heart.”

Mr Watt said proposed plans for the upgrade of the train station were inadequate.

“The only improvement to the station is improved disabled access which, while important, does not consider how an increase in the number of visitors and commuters will be catered for,” he said.

“The plans do not harness the unique opportunity this important project can provide as a spur to the revitalisation of the town centre.

“As well as the sinking of the line at the subway there is a need for a strategic vision for the station precinct as part of a holistic plan for the area.

“Key changes could include improved street scaping, more shelter, more seating, encouragement of more cycling and pedestrian activity, parking facilities, and much more.”

Mr Watt, who has lived in the area for 25 years, said little had happened in the town centre despite it having the ingredients for a great place, such as a train station, businesses, park, bus links, library, senior citizens centre, schools, and bank.

“Little has been done to revitalise the centre so it becomes a more active and inviting place,” he said.

“It could become a really vibrant area where people want to visit, shop, stay and play.”