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Parking a problem for Newcastle commuters

Author: Kimberly RigbyDate: 21 May 2012

A lack of parking facilities on the Newcastle train line is causing frustration for commuters and is a barrier to using public transport, according to a new audit by NRMA Motoring & Services.

NRMA's 'Park and Ride' report inspected the parking facilities at 124 railway stations across the entire CityRail network and found that 25 per cent do not cater to commuters wanting to park their cars and travel by train.

Almost three-quarters (72%) of stations on the Newcastle Line were audited and 60 per cent of those stations still don't have any Park & Ride facilities.

On the Newcastle Line, NRMA audited 72% of the stations, and found that of the stations audited:

  • 60% lack Park & Ride
  • All lack Kiss & Ride
  • 40% lack Bike Lockers or Racks
  • 20% lack Taxi Ranks

Among the busiest train stations to not have parking facilities for commuters are Civic, Hamilton and Newcastle.

While the report identified the gap, the results are a vast improvement since the NRMA last conducted an audit of Park & Ride facilities in 2008.

Following action by the NRMA, the previous and current NSW Governments have either upgraded or built commuter facilities at over 30 train stations across the CityRail network.

Work at Cardiff station has already commenced to increase commuter safety with the installation of CCTV and new lighting but there has been no projects announced to increase parking.

The NRMA report also identified a need for more 'Kiss and Ride' facilities with all of the stations audited on the Newcastle line lacking designated stopping bays to allow people to get dropped off at the station without getting booked.

NRMA Director Kyle Loades said while progress had been made to provide safe and secure parking at train stations there was clearly a lot of work still to do.

"If we provide parking at train stations and major bus stops then motorists have a choice to use public transport for the bulk of their daily journey; without this option they have no choice but to drive," Mr Loades said.

"At Broadmeadow station the parking available is clearly insufficient and needs to be increased as many commuters are parking on the streets.

"Battling peak hour morning traffic is no fun; more commuter parking will help people save on fuel, tackle congestion and offer the community choice when it comes to transport.

"The complete lack of 'Kiss & Ride' spaces at any of the stations on the Newcastle line is a major problem that needs to be addressed as it means there is no allocated space for people to drop loved ones off at the stations without breaking the road rules.

"All stations need clear, signposted areas where people can drop off their loved ones safely and legally."

Mr Loades said the NRMA's Park and Ride report also identified confusing and inconsistent signage as a major problem at all train stations.

"Motorists have no idea where to go; all stations we inspected on the Newcastle line had confusing signage," Mr Loades said.

"Using signs like 'no parking zone' or 'five minute parking' as a replacement for 'Kiss & Ride' parking bays is stopping people from safely dropping-off and picking-up passengers."

Download the Park and Ride report (PDF 370KB/9 pages).

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