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No footpath from Mitchell light rail stop leaves pedestrians stranded

Lachlan Roberts 25 August 2019 105
Flemington Road

Pedestrians are being forced to walk along the side of Flemington Road. Photo: Daniel Livesay.

Pedestrians are being forced to walk along the on-road bike paths down Flemington Road during peak hour traffic to get to their workplace in Mitchell, as the industrial suburb waits for its own light rail stop.

Daniel Livesey rides the light rail to and from his workplace in Mitchell each weekday, hopping off at the nearest stop at Well Station Drive, which is 1.2 kilometres from his place of work on Flemington Road.

With no nearer light rail stop, he is forced to wait for a bus to take him into Mitchell or walk a kilometre down Flemington Road. But with no footpath down Flemington Road since the construction of the light rail route, he and other pedestrians are forced to use on-road bike paths to make their way to Mitchell.

Mr Livesay said the 1.2-kilometre trek during peak hour traffic is inconvenient and at times dangerous.

“Since the light rail began operating in April, Transport Canberra has not provided safe access from the EPIC and Racecourse stop and Well Station Drive stop into Mitchell,” Mr Livesay said.

“This means people have to walk from the stations using the on-road bike paths to make their way into Mitchell.

Mr Livesay does not understand why there is no temporary path. Photo: Lachlan Roberts.

“They have not made it accessible for people to get to Mitchell from either light rail stop. There is no doubt this is unsafe but pedestrians have been left with no alternative.”

Mr Livesay said he has witnessed people of all ages, including parents with prams and young kids, walking on the bike paths against the flow of oncoming morning traffic.

Even when Mr Livesay puts his journey into Transport Canberra’s journey planner, it directs him to get off at Well Station Drive stop and walk down Flemington Road.

“This is the route they are telling people to take on their website,” Mr Livesay said. “I believe it’s only a matter of time until someone is injured due to this situation created by the ACT Government’s poor planning around the light rail project.

“There are people walking in front of me and behind me every morning. There are 400 businesses in Mitchell and they have left us without a light rail stop. All we are asking for is some temporary pathway along that dirt track.”

Mr Livesay wrote to the Transport Minister’s Office in June to highlight the potentially dangerous situation.

The response, by then acting Transport Minister Mick Gentleman, said Transport Canberra and City Services are “currently reviewing the design and construction requirements for a suitable path” on Flemington Road.

This is the route Transport Canberra’s Journey Planner suggests Mr Livesay takes. Photo: Supplied.

Mr Livesay said the response angered him. “When they do this in the city, they put in temporary pathways but Mitchell does not seem to get the same respect,” he said.

“One of the things that makes my blood boil is that they celebrated Rail Safety Week, but they don’t care about people’s safety once they hop off the service.”

A Transport Canberra and City Services spokesperson said the 2019-20 ACT Budget included funding to design and construct a two-kilometre cycling and walking path between Well Station Drive and Randwick Road in Mitchell where the temporary path was installed during light rail construction.

“Design work will commence in the coming months, and we expect construction to begin in mid-2020,” the spokesperson said.

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103 Responses to
No footpath from Mitchell light rail stop leaves pedestrians stranded
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Claire 6:17 pm 29 Aug 19

There seems to be a cycle path. I understand that cycle paths are able to be used by pedestrians.

    madelini 9:19 am 30 Aug 19

    It’s mentioned in the article: “But with no footpath down Flemington Road since the construction of the light rail route, he and other pedestrians are forced to use on-road bike paths to make their way to Mitchell.”

    The point is really safety; as with Heysen Street, there should really be footpaths to ensure safety for pedestrians. But, as always, those on foot are an afterthought to all other transport options.

    paul13 10:22 am 30 Aug 19

    Shared paths are dual use for cyclists and pedestrians. On road cycle lanes, like these, are for bikes only (road rule 239 refers).

Claire 6:15 pm 29 Aug 19

We’ve lived in Weston for almost 49 years and we still do not have a footpath on Heyson Street from Hilder Street to Lyons. It is not unusual to see pedestrians, including many school children, walking up the hill. With people from Wright and Coombs using this route to drive to Woden this road has become quite busy.

7:48 am 28 Aug 19

There is no tram stop outside the front entrance of epic either.

    12:58 pm 28 Aug 19

    I agree with that inconvenience too, and commented on that myself. However, I have heard that the showground is going to be got rid of. Another stupidity. It should be where people can easily reach it by pubic transport, such as where it is...with a stop.

    3:32 pm 06 Sep 19

    Gary Hazell it was put a little further down for a reason. If there are big events you need a little more distance to help control crowds.

1:12 pm 27 Aug 19

Greatest Greens-led labour-supported white elephant in ACT history... Sooo Glad I don’t live in the ACT any more, feel sorry for everyone there, next thing will be increased rates to cover running costs...

11:58 am 27 Aug 19

Why wasn't a tram stop built in Mitchell? The planners stuffed up the road between wells station road and northbourne where it goes from two lanes to one to two to one to two again, where is there consistency in traffic flow. They have just built in bottlenecks.

    3:09 pm 06 Sep 19

    Larry Iliffe see my comment just before yours re train stations for future high rise development replacing EPIC & racecourse.

    Now careful about logical thoughts regarding traffic flow. Don’t you realise that logic is banned in all political spheres, especially design & planning?

11:13 am 27 Aug 19

That’s because the ACT government is going to sell off the land from Wells Station Drive to the Federal Highway, including EPIC & the race course, for high rise development & the stations are located for this future development & Mitchell traders & their customers don’t count & are continually conned & lied to.

    3:47 pm 06 Sep 19

    George Burke part right. Yes the land next to the Well Station Drive stop is earmarked for development, which is not a surprise as it was a suburb on the original pre ACT government plans for Gungahlin.

    Though the actual stop there is on the Mitchell side of Well Station Drive because there is meant to be and will soon be a park and ride on the block of land between the waste transfer station and Well Station Drive.

    Oh and the race course is not the governments to sell. EPIC yes. But great rant.

12:53 am 27 Aug 19

Ha ha ha amazing how I used the Tram for the 1st time the other day after driving to Mitchell to get my car serviced. I live in Weston. I was thinking ok the tram goes straight past the dealership and I can jump on and have a coffee and a look around gunghalin, while I wait for the car to be completed. Well I was shocked to see Mitchell had no stop. That’s unbelievable when the tram sails right past. Andrew Barr’s team are bright sparks aye.

8:46 pm 26 Aug 19

Walking down from the Wells Station Road light rail stop to Mitchell to pick up my car I had the choice of sinking down to my ankles in just grassed landscaping or walking along the on road bike lane. How do people with prams or in wheelchairs cope.Did they not think that access to Mitchell was essential if they chose not to build a stop there.The EPIC access is no better.I love the light rail but this is a monumental oversight.

8:03 pm 26 Aug 19

Such a dangerous walk 😵😵 many a time I have seen kids walk down this path during peak hour

7:39 pm 26 Aug 19

Totally agree it is super dangerous. I see people walking down the on-road cycle lane part of the road all the time as they have no alternative. And the cycle lane/path from the highway to flemington is great...until it ends and there is no safe way to get to the on-road cycle lane across the tracks. Classic.

6:38 pm 26 Aug 19

Curious thing. During construction, there was a separated bike/foot path. After construction it was removed.

    7:42 pm 26 Aug 19

    I know - it was such a great path! I saw cyclists and walkers on it all the time. It was a great resource for lunch time office workers needing some safe exercise (as there are limited footpaths in mitchell in general). And cyclists didn't need to be on the road...which Canberra Drivers hate....It is totally obtuse it was removed.

2:50 pm 26 Aug 19

With just people like you Australia would still be in the XVI century. Poor guys. I love my light rail. I live in the XXI century.

2:28 pm 26 Aug 19

If you are not smart enough for sure you will walk on the he road amongst the cars. For sure.

2:01 pm 26 Aug 19

It does seem more than a little daft that the light rail stops were apparently chosen to avoid Mitchell, i.e. there being absolutely none between Wells Station Road and EPIC.

1:05 pm 26 Aug 19

Scott this is what we were saying!

10:57 am 26 Aug 19

Yet the business case for the tram claimed the congestion reduction benefit of the full duplication of Flemington Road.

    9:12 pm 26 Aug 19

    Chris Emery For 500 metres of road at middle and end? That bit around the AWM storage always looks weird.

10:18 am 26 Aug 19

I was quite happy to get my car serviced in Mitchell and walk down to the EPIC stop. But agree it's a rough trip. Even the EPIC stop itself is bizarrely hard to access!

10:13 am 26 Aug 19

I have seen this first hand and a lady nearly getting cleaned up by a bus who was at one stage walking in the live lane of traffic...

ChrisinTurner 9:28 am 26 Aug 19

If they forgot to recruit enough bus drivers for the new network you can’t expect them to remember pedestrian access to stations.

8:56 am 26 Aug 19

Juanita Thacker this chick's about to walk straight into TRAFFIC

    10:28 am 26 Aug 19

    But yeah that's our stop right outside our work that isn't being used so nobody here uses the light rail because it's useless to us

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