Clarkson train station lift back in use but annoyance lingers for wheelchair user Kelly Page

Kelly Page of Clarkson was annoyed by the lift issues at Clarkson station. Picture: Martin Kennealey d453493
Kelly Page of Clarkson was annoyed by the lift issues at Clarkson station. Picture: Martin Kennealey d453493

A LIFT at Clarkson Station is moving again after being out of order for several weeks.

Clarkson resident Kelly Page said she had tried to access the train station platform a dozen times since April 1, but kept finding the lift was not working.

“Every single time I’ve gone up there since (April 1), it hasn’t been working,” she said.

Miss Page, who uses an electric wheelchair, said that meant she often could not get to Joondalup or the city to meet friends, or to football games.

“I have to get my mum or dad to drive me there,” she said.

“We bought this house just around the corner from the station so I would have more independence and be able to go there by myself.

“I’ve had tickets to go to the football which I’ve had not been able to use unless I get a lift from mum and dad; I can’t always do that because they have things to do.

“It’s pretty disheartening. Public transport is there to make life easier but that’s not always the case.”

Miss Page said other people using wheelchairs and parents with prams also could not use the stairs or escalators to access the platform.

Public Transport Authority spokesman David Hynes said today the lift was operational again.

“It was fixed yesterday, and the delay was due to a difficult-to-source part,” he said.

“On average, our lifts are operational 98.7 per cent of the time – among the best in the world for a transport system.

“On average, a lift is out of service for a total of 98 hours out of the 7644 hours they are required to operate.

“Last year we invested more than $500,000 in lift and escalator maintenance to prevent breakdowns.

“Despite this, occasionally our lifts do break down. We try our hardest to get them back in to service as soon as possible.”

Mr Hynes said whenever lifts were out of service, patrons with accessibility difficulties who could not travel to an alternative station or take an accessible bus service, could call the special assistance number (1800 800 022) to arrange an alternative.

“As a matter of course we will offer a taxi to the next station in cases of genuine need,” he said.

“We also have dedicated customer service staff who help dozens of passengers with disabilities on and around our network, every day.”

Miss Page said she would call TransPerth to find out if the lift was working, and be told someone would call her back; sometimes it was two or three days before she heard back.

“There’s nothing on the website about the lift not working,” she said.

“If they had it on the website, I would be able to look it up and make arrangements in advance.”

Butler MLA John Quigley said several people had contacted his office about the lift not working over the past month.

“This has been denying people with disability access to the train,” he said.

“They have had to go back on buses and travel up to Butler to be able to use the lift.”

Ramps at stations the solution?

Miss Page said stations such as Edgewater and Leederville had ramps that people could use.

“Going to the football like I do quite often, the ramps that they put in, they never break down; there’s no maintenance to it,” she said.

“It surprises me that they don’t put more ramps in.

“I just hope when they are building the new stadium they have better access for wheelchairs, and at the new train station.”

Mr Hynes said including ramps at all stations where there were lifts was not always possible.

“Disability Discrimination Act guidelines prescribe specific angles and refuge points for ramps which can’t always be accommodated within the limited space of a station,” he said.

“In some cases, this is because of the size of the platform, in others, the location of the overhead wiring.”