A working group appointed to investigate commuter carparking at Watergardens train station is yet to reveal its findings, despite being charged with the task more than a year ago.
In June last year Star Weekly revealed the state government had appointed a group to investigate ways to increase carparking around the Sydenham station. It was to be chaired by local MP Natalie Hutchins and include representatives from Public Transport Victoria, VicTrack, Brimbank council and the owners of Watergardens Town Centre QIC.
The group was to report to Transport Minister Jacinta Allan by the end of 2016 on how many extra parking spaces could be added, and where.
But when asked what progress had been made last week, a spokesman from Ms Allan’s office said: “We will continue to investigate options to increase carparking facilities on the Sunbury line”.
The spokesman said the number of bus services to and from Watergardens train station have doubled in the past year, and extra “Parkiteer” bike cages have been added.
“We’re making public transport simpler and easier for Victorians to access,” he said.
The train station’s current carpark has capacity for about 1230 cars; 682 across three carparks and about 550 in a fourth unmarked, gravel carpark on land PTV leases from QIC.
But parking at the station remains notoriously difficult.
The problem was compounded last June when four-hour parking limits were introduced at Watergardens shopping centre.
A nearby aged care centre followed suit, issuing parking permits for its staff and residents’ visiting family members to stamp out all-day parking on its land.
Commuter Cathy Tambakis started a petition that called for a “long-term solution to the parking problem” at Watergardens station that received almost 650 signatures.
Council’s city development director Stuart Menzies said vacant land behind one of the carparks was a former tip, limiting its potential use.