TRAFFIC and parking changes planned around Sutherland railway station as part of a new $11 million bus interchange project will be subjected to more public scrutiny.
Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian ordered the consultation period be extended and a public forum held after complaints that varied pedestrian flows and removing more than 60 car parking spaces would hit some shop owners and "park and ride" commuters.
The new bus interchange was announced two years ago, but details were released only recently, with the public given two weeks to comment.
Menai MP Melanie Gibbons took her concerns to Ms Berejiklian, who told Transport for NSW to consult more and be prepared to modify the project, depending on feedback.
The plan provides for a new bus interchange on the south-western side of the station, to replace the commuter car park's 53 spaces.
On the eastern side of the station, another nine car spaces would be lost and all pedestrians would be funnelled on to the southern ramp, which would be widened and linked with new traffic signals further south on Rawson Avenue (Old Princes Highway).
Two pedestrian crossings at the top of the station and the north-east pedestrian ramp would be eliminated.
While this would speed up traffic at the rail crossing, which was chaotic at peak periods, pedestrians would need to walk an extra 140 metres.
Neil and Peter Theodoulou, whose shop Shire Charcoal Chickens is opposite the north-east pedestrian ramp, quickly gathered 200 signatures on a petition opposing the move.
"The first I knew about it was when I saw a group of official-looking people talking near our shop and I asked them what was going on," Neil Theodoulou said.
"It has been done too quickly and without consideration of the effects."
Tina Saengsida, of Heathcote, is among commuters who would be hit by the loss of the south-western car park.
Ms Saengsida parks at 4.45am to travel by train to her job at St Vincent's Hospital and picks up her car in the afternoon to drive to a second job.
"If I couldn't park here, I would probably be late," she said.
Pharmacist Sue Rogers said the present traffic situation was "untenable", but consultation was "the key" to any changes.
Some other business owners, who did not wish to be named, also believed the traffic problems needed to be sorted out.
Ms Gibbons said while the bus interchange would have benefits, there was already a great shortage of commuter parking at the station.
"The transport department will hold a community forum and, depending on the feedback, they are prepared to change the plans," she said.
THE NEW BUS INTERCHANGE
- Commuter car park on East Parade will become a bus interchange.
- Existing interchange becomes a bus drop-off and layover, with amenities for driver
- Two pedestrian crossings at top of station to be removed, along with north-eastern pedestrian ramp and crossing at its base.
- Pedestrians on eastern side of the station forced to use one widened ramp to the south, with a new crossing off Rawson Avenue (Old Princes Highway) moved a little further south.
- Parking reconfigured in Rawson Avenue.
- Southbound U-turn at the base of the Rawson Avenue up-ramp to be removed.
- New roundabout to be built at the corner of Rawson Avenue and Boyle Street.
What needs to be done at the Sutherland bus interchange?