Footscray railway station will become a dedicated transport hub and Paisley Street transformed for pedestrians and cyclists under an ambitious $9 million plan to revitalise the suburb.
Maribyrnong Council last week released plans for a ‘Footscray transport interchange’ on Irving Street and extensive improvements to the Paisley Street streetscape, along with further upgrades to surrounding areas.
Footscray is already Melbourne’s busiest suburban train station, as well as the second busiest for bus movements.
But a council report has found access between transports modes in central Footscray is “sub optimal”, with some stops in Paisley Street located up to 350 metres from the train station.
State government agency Transport for Victoria (TfV) prepared a concept plan for a centralised transport hub in Irving Street in 2016, but the project failed to attract state government funding.
The council is again pushing for the state government to chip in funding for the hub, paving the way for the transformation of Paisley Street with dedicated bike lanes, improved footpaths and more trees.
The council estimates it would cost almost $6 million to fix Paisley Street, including the installation of bicycle lanes along the length of the street and fixing footpaths that collect deep puddles when it rains.
“Improvements to the public realm are critical to support the expected growth of jobs (3400) and people (30,500) in Footscray by 2031,” the report stated.
It notes the ability to improve the Paisley Street public realm is compromised until buses are relocated to Irving Street.
The concept plans for the Paisley Street precinct and transport interchange, endorsed at last week’s city development meeting, will now go out for community consultation.
Footscray MP Katie Hall said she was pleased to see the council focusing efforts on the beautification of central Footscray.
“Paisley Street has needed attention for a long time,” she said.
“I’m strongly supportive of any improvements to cycling and pedestrian connections too – separating bikes and pedestrians from buses makes sense.”
Ms Hall said she would always support and advocate for funds to beautify and improve central Footscray.
“I look forward to discussing this with Council further.”