"Off The Rails"- A Series of Messenger Press Articles


PPT audit pours scorn on Port line

by Amy Noonan

Portside Messenger - Wed 15 Oct 2003, Pages 1, 5

Public Transport campaigner Margaret Dingle audited the western suburbs train line

Public Transport campaigner Margaret Dingle audited the western suburbs train line   
Picture: Keryn Seidel

WESTERN suburbs train stations lack security, stink of urine and are poorly maintained, a People for Public Transport survey has found.

An audit of 26 stations on the Outer Harbor and Grange lines found most stations were isolated, graffiti and vandalism were common, and only two had security cameras and emergency contact with police.

A lack of toilets also led to a strong urine smell at stations on the Outer Harbor line.

PPT members Margaret Dingle and Dennis Cripps audited the stations on behalf of The Portside Messenger last month.

They said there was a lack of toilets, security, and lighting,disabled access was poor and the stations were riddled with graffiti.

"None of them had toilets and I think some of them should have . . . we certainly had some shelters smelling of urine,'' Ms Dingle said.

Both Ms Dingle and Mr Cripps were disappointed with a lack of signage at stations. "That's my big gripe they never put enough signage,'' Mr Cripps said.

"It's not good if you don't know where you're going.'' They said security was sub-standard at most stations, except Glanville and Woodville, which had security cameras and "panic'' phones to the police.

These stations, promoted by TransAdelaide as "Safer stations'', with bike lockers, were rated the best, at 49 and 46 respectively, out of a maximum 60 (see table).

"It feels safe, (and the camera and panic phones) are wonderful improvements regrettably, they are needed,'' Mr Cripps said of Woodville.

But he was disappointed the toilets were locked and unavailable to the public. The PPT said their audit found most stations were run down, with a lack of maintenance.

Ms Dingle was especially critical of the Port Adelaide station, rated 16/60, with its four long ramps to access the platforms on the Commercial Rd bridge, and suggested a lift be installed to improve disabled access.

"It's particularly unattractive, but you could see traces of former magnificence, with the ornate bridge pillars,'' she said.

"I think it needs a revamp.'' Ms Dingle rated Midlunga her worst, at 14/60. "There is poor disabled access . . . generally steep and uneven, and the south-west ramp is very steep,'' she said.

She also said the shelter was inadequate, and as with most stations on the lines, there was no security.

Mr Cripps rated the underused Cheltenham Racecourse station the worst, at 10/60, with access to the platform difficult through a garden bed.

He was also disappointed with Alberton station, rated 15/60.

Other Messenger Press Articles

PEOPLE for Public Transport (PPT) members rated each of the stations on the Outer Harbor line out of a maximum score of 60.

Scores were out of 10 in six categories: appearance and maintenance; security and safety; lighting; car and bike parking; disability access; facilities (toilets, seats, food),

Outer Harbor: 35. Comment: Clean, potential of station building not realised.

North Haven: 32. Isolated outlook, disabled access fairly good.

Osborne: 28.5 Art, good platform, poor disability access, generaify clean.

Midlunga: 14. Poor access, uneven platform, limited shelter, lights a bit far apart.

Taperoo: 21, Old fashioned shelters, graffitied seats, smelly.

Draper: 21. Marred by smelly shelters and rubbish.

Largs North: 40.5. Shelters fairly clean, good seats. Looks out over back fences.
Largs: 22, Narrow ramp, platform poor, disabled access not ideal.

Peterhead: 34.5. Good access ramp, good car parking, not very attractive.

Glanville: 49, (Park and Ride) Emergency phone, 24-hour police surveillance. Better facilities than most.

Ethelton: 19.5. Open station, easily accessible. Ugly, smelly.

Port Adelaide: 16. Poor condition. Hard to get unmotorised wheelchair up ramp, poor signage.
Alberton: 15. Lack of access for disabled, poor signage,

Cheltenham: 29. Smells, but minimal g raffiti. Phone box and community centre nearby.

Cheltenham Racecourse (stops race days only): 10. Lots of graffiti.