Long-time Sunbury resident John McKerrow believes he has the solution to Sunbury’s parking woes.

The former Bulla shire engineer and town planner for 36 years says there is one simple way to solve Sunbury’s lack of parking – relocate the metro train station.

He has proposed shifting the station and bus depot to four hectares of grassland on Evans Street, a move he says would direct commuters away from the town centre, freeing up carparks at the current station for Sunbury shoppers. The existing train station could remain for V/Line services, while removing the metro service would reduce pressure on Sunbury’s level crossing, he said.

“Every citizen in Sunbury complains about the lack of car parking in the town’s centre,” he said. “Shops are closing because of it. We need to make the present carparking around the station available for shoppers in Sunbury.”

Mr McKerrow said the cost of building a new station and carpark could be minimal, with Sunbury train signalling already being handled by Craigieburn station. The four-hectare site in Evans Street was bought by the Shire of Bulla in 1986 for $280,000 for future development. Mr McKerrow believes Hume council should return the land to Sunbury to help fix the town’s CBD carparking issues.

Mr McKerrow, who has lived in Sunbury for 54 years and has “been part of Sunbury’s growth”, has been campaigning to fix congestion in Sunbury since 2010.

He has written to various government bodies, including the Growth Areas Authority, the Department of Transport and the minister for planning in the past seven years asking them to consider his proposal. The authority told Mr McKerrow in 2012 it was not in a position to get involved.

Mr McKerrow said the carparking issue needed to be resolved “in order for Sunbury to stay alive”.