Moreland Leader: Station Designs Off Track

The following news report in the Moreland Leader from June 17, 2019 on the release of the artist impression station designs.

Moreland Leader: Station Designs off track

Article by Josh Barnes for the Moreland Leader

Designs for the new Moreland and Coburg stations have been slammed as “dated” and “ugly”, with anger also growing over a lack of consultation on the crossing removals.

The early designs for both stations were released by the State Government last Wednesday, with the elevated rail to sit alongside the heritage-listed buildings.

Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed no houses would be acquired as part of the work, but people would be able to sell their homes to the government if they didn’t want to live next to the sky rail. The designs were released just three days before public consultation was closed by the Level Crossing Removal Project on Saturday.

No Sky Rail Upfield Line Association secretary Zarn Takiari said the community had been kept in the dark about the designs consultation sessions held in the past two months.

“Many of the locals who have seen the designs today, feel that they are not at all in line with the heritage character of the area, have a dated ‘70s look and are frankly, quite ugly,” she said.

“It’s clear to me, that the LXRP knew very well, the answers to the questions the local community were asking … and yet we were told that they couldn’t give us any answers.”

Moreland Mayor Natalie Abboud said it was unsatisfactory that designs had been released just as consultation was closing.

A group of 80 community members met on May 25 to create a vision for the Upfield line, which focused on retaining the heritage aspects of the line and maintaining open space.

Responses to the LXRP designs on the Moreland Leader Facebook page were mostly negative, with several people describing them as “ugly”.

The LXRP will incorporate feedback received in the final three days of consultation into final designs.

“We will be back out to the community with more information as we get closer to construction starting,” north west program project director Michael Caink said. A majority of the work on removing the crossings at Bell St, Munro St and Reynard St in Coburg, as well as at Moreland Rd in Brunswick, will be done in a three-month construction blitz next year, involving more than 1000 people working around the clock. During that time, trains will still run between Anstey and the city.

What do you think of the designs? Tell us at facebook.com/morelandleader

The Premier Dan Andrews, Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan, and Pascoe Vale MP Lizzie Blandthorn breezed into Coburg station (west side) on June 12 for a media conference, then breezed out again. They didn’t even leave the artist impressions at the station for passengers to view while waiting. See Report at Extend the Upfield Bike Path Campaign

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