Lilydale Station Car Parking Concerns

Reading a Newspaper

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

By Romy Stephens

Pressure is mounting on the State Government to create additional car parking at Lilydale Train Station, as part of the Level Crossing Removal Project.

The State Government’s Level Crossing Removal Project has announced that there will be no loss of formal commuter parking, however, additional parking spaces have not been revealed.

Contrastingly, Mooroolbark Train Station will get 450 new car parks as part of the level crossing removal.

Despite community consultation taking place, Lilydale Township Action Group chairman Neal Taylor said he didn’t feel the community had been listened to.

“As part of the consultation we kept saying we need additional car parking. Considering Mooroolbark is getting their multi-storey car park we were quite happy for just an additional 60 car parks somewhere,” he said.

“With the information we’re getting it looks like there is going to be less.

“We’ve found the State Government, particularly the rail replacement, have not been very forthcoming in a lot of communication. They keep saying there has been community consultation but the only communication we seem to get is via their website or an email through Council.”

Evelyn MP Bridget Vallence said the State Government had “chosen to ignore” the concerns of Lilydale train commuters by refusing to provide additional car parking.

She said the Minister for Transport Infrastructure confirmed that the old bus interchange would be converted to car spaces which would partially offset the loss of 120 spaces along William Streets East and West.

However, she said the Minister only confirmed this would result in no net loss of parking.

“The Andrews Government clearly doesn’t understand what matters most to local Lilydale residents,” she said.

“Lilydale commuters don’t care about a ‘no net loss’ of car parks, they want a ‘net increase’ in car parking.

“The existing unsealed Lilydale Train Station car park is full before morning peak begins at 7am. Lilydale locals have been crying out for more car parks, but the Andrews Labor Government has left them high and dry, and they’re forced to park in side streets or at the football ground.”

The 2019/20 Victorian Budget established a Car Parks for Commuter fund to build 11,000 new and upgraded car parks at train stations across the state – this included the 450 new car spaces at Mooroolbark.

Level Crossing Removal Project program director Steve Brown said Lilydale Station would instead see the relocation of infrastructure to accommodate demand.

“The new Lilydale station and new bus interchange will be relocated to better integrate with the town centre, making it safer and reducing journey times,” he said.

“Improved access will make it more convenient for commuters to ride, walk or use the bus to get to and from the station.”

Mr Taylor said the parking situation was such a concern for Lilydale because unlike many other train stations, it services commuters from across the municipality.

“Lilydale Railway is the only station that deals with the Yarra Ranges,” he said.

“We’re getting a lot of people who live in the Warburton corridor or Healesville who get the train to work.

“Lilydale Station is not a suburb and station, it’s more of a community hub, it’s a station that deals with a lot more than just one suburb.”

Mr Taylor said the Township Group would be happy to explore “creative thinking around additional car parking” such as a park-and-ride option.

He said this might see a car park in a town such as Healesville with a bus service that takes commuters to Lilydale.

To find out more about the Level Crossing Removal Project, visit levelcrossings.vic.gov.au.

The Level Crossing Removal Project has been contacted for comment.