Greater Shepparton City Council voted to note the concept plans for two railway overpass options for the Shepparton Railway Station at the Ordinary Council Meeting on Tuesday 22 May 2019.
Following extensive community consultation, Council officers engaged Arcadis Pty Ltd to prepare an alternative concept plan for the overpass to take into account the concerns expressed by submitters. The alternative plan reduces the estimated cost to $17.3m.
Council will use the alternative plan in further discussions with rail authorities, while continuing to work collaboratively with the State Government to improve access and connectivity between the railway station and other parts of the city. Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Cr Kim O’Keeffe said “Council’s aim is to see the construction of a new railway station in preparation for the nine Vlocity trains that will ultimately service Shepparton. These linkages are an important step in the process.”
Creating strong connections between the Railway Station Precinct and the CBD is a key objective of the adopted Shepparton Railway Precinct Master Plan 2017, to maximise the functionality and amenity of the city. Both the overpass and shared paths are identified in the Plan as actions towards this aim.
The need for enhanced connectivity to the Shepparton Railway Station has been highlighted in a number of strategies including the Greater Shepparton CBD Strategy, October 2008, the Greater Shepparton Council Plan 2017-2021 and the Shepparton Revitalisation Project.
The overpass and shared linkages plans were released for public consultation for a period of six weeks from 7 January 2019 to 18 February 2019. All submissions received were considered by Council officers and included in a Conversation Report that was received and noted at the Ordinary Council Meeting, and which can be downloaded from Council’s website.
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Cr Kim O’Keeffe said “we would be keen to promote more equitable access from the eastern residential areas to Shepparton’s retail, health and education facilities, to encourage people to take advantage of sustainable transport options, and to support the redevelopment of land adjoining the railway line to help transform this neglected area into a more enticing entrance to Shepparton.”
“It makes sense for the railway station to be moved to the western side of the tracks but this is a long-term goal, subject to State Government funding under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transport, not Council. We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the State Government to achieve an attractive, safe, and sustainable outcome for our community,” she said.
“Implementation of the shared pathways is a more short-term action to not only improve the aesthetics of the area but provide better safety for cyclists and pedestrians and open up access to the areas around the CBD, the new SAM and Victoria Park Lake,” said Cr O’Keeffe.
“The shared pathway linkages plan is a Council funded project but we will also seek to secure State funding to assist with their construction.”