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04 March 2011

Lift repair delay at Goodna frustrates rail commuters

IN A blow for parents, the disabled and the elderly, Goodna commuters will have to wait at least four months until the lifts will be repaired.
Joyce Cavanough finds Goodna train station's unusable lift frustrating – a situation which will last for months.


IN A blow for parents, the disabled and the elderly, Goodna commuters will have to wait at least four months until the lifts linking the train station to the pedestrian overpass will be repaired.

The station was not spared from the devastation which hit Goodna in January, with the electronic lifts a casualty of the muddy torrent which inundated the suburb.


Although the station has reopened for business since the floods, the lifts have remained out of service and QR said they would remain so until at least July this year.


A QR spokeswoman said it had contacted affected customers regarding access to Goodna station, and that those needing lift or ramp access should use the Redbank or Gailes stations.


The only problem is that each of those stations is several kilometres from Goodna.


"Due to the complexity of the repair and the lead time in sourcing replacement parts, the maintenance provider has advised Queensland Rail it does not expect the lift will be operational until July," the spokeswoman said.


The Department of Transport and Main Roads was also able to confirm, late yesterday, that the new lift linking the Ipswich Motorway pedestrian overpass to Mill Street – which was also ruined by floods – will take at least three months to fix.


The absence of a lift will make rail travel near impossible for anyone with physical disabilities, given the positioning of Goodna station.


Local area councillor Paul Tully
said QR should be making the repairs its number-one priority.

"I think it is unsatisfactory that repairs would take such a long time," Cr Tully said.

"It would be impossible for someone in a wheelchair to get into the station, given the number of stairs from the overpass and the lack of a ramp.


"I think QR has let the people of Goodna down."


Elderly commuter Joyce Cavanough said getting up and down the stairs to and from the overpass was hard work.


"I would certainly be using the lift it was here," she said.


"For the older people, those with disabilities and mums with babies it's going to be difficult, if not impossible."


Young mum Leeza Gordon only got down to the platform to catch her train after carrying her baby's pram down the stairs.


"It's a bit of a hassle to have to lift the pram," she said.


QR apologised to commuters for the delay in lift repairs.

More flood stories from the Ipswich daily newspaper: http://www.qt.com.au/
 

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