A petition to install a lift or escalator at the Wallace Avenue end of Williams Landing train station is gaining momentum, as the station is named one of the busiest in Melbourne.
Figures from the Department of Transport, released last week, show the number of passengers who travelled through Williams Landing station rose 171 per cent in five years – from 809,000 commuters in 2013-14 to 1.75 million commuters in 2018-19.
Williams Landing station experienced the fourth-largest increase in commuter numbers out of all Melbourne stations.
Officer station experienced the largest growth in commuter numbers, from 19,000 train travellers in 2013-14 to 123,000 in 2018-19, an overall increase of 537 per cent.
A Change.org petition has been started, calling for a lift or escalator to be installed at the Wallace Avenue end of Williams Landing station. The petition, started by Rajendra Kakkad and his son Sanket Kakkad, is directed to Altona MP Jill Hennessy and has been signed by more than 310 people.
The station serves multiple suburbs including Point Cook and parts of Truganina and Hoppers Crossing.
According to the petition, in order to access a ramp or lift leading to a Williams Landing station platform, train travellers entering at Wallace Avenue have to climb 57 steps, and then walk across a bridge.
It’s described as “quite inconvenient” to people with a disability, pregnant women, senior citizens and people with heavy luggage.
The petition describes the ramp as “so long” that no one except cyclists use it.
Although there is a lift near the station’s Altair-Woodbury streets entry, the petition states this “is not always convenient”.
Mr Kakkad said: “Before two years ago, when I was coming back from the Williams Landing Station exit at Wallace Avenue, I saw one lady was struggling in getting down the stairs with one bag and two kids. I helped her by carrying her bag down.
“At that time Melbourne was number one in the most livable countries of the world.
“I thought the situation the lady was facing is not suitable to the standards of Melbourne. After this event, also I saw people struggling there.
“So … I drafted the petition and started the movement with the help of my son Sanket Kakkad.”
Mr Kakkad said he has also met with Ms Hennessey to discuss the matter.
A state government spokesman said the lift at Altair Street allowed commuters at Williams Landing to reach both platforms.
Ms Hennessy said: “I’ll continue working with the Minister for Public Transport to make sure everyone can access the station now and into the future”.