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Submission to Sydney Metro – Sydenham to Bankstown – Mod 1 – Bankstown Station

Updated with Sydney Metro’s “Response to issues raised in the submissions”.

Regarding the Revised station design for Bankstown Station. Includes the provision of a new north-south connection across the rail corridor between Appian Way and Restwell Street.

Reordered Submission June 2020. Dear Sir/Madam,

I am a Transport Analyst and Planner. I was asked to address the NSW Legislative Council to Transport & Customer Service Committee Inquiry regarding the Sydenham to Bankstown Metro Conversion. I have worked extensively on projects with Sydney Trains including on the Responsive Passenger Information System designed for customer congestion management at Town Hall and other important interchange stations.

I will be brief, as I only saw this proposed change on the day submissions closed.

Firstly, the proposed bike parking area is too small. The northern commuter car park only has space for 50 cars, a tiny fraction of possible demand. Central Bankstown is too be redeveloped as Transit-Oriented Developments. Therefore, 40 car spaces should be retained for disabled passengers, and the space on the west of the driveway should be converted to secure covered bike parking. This would significantly increase the station’s passenger catchment.

Secondly, to 1) reduce crowding, congestion, and delays, 2) improve fire and life safety, and 3) increase patronage; I would recommend the instillation of exits on the eastern end of the metro station. These eastern exits would allow quick exit in the event of an emergency. These eastern exits would spread passengers more evenly on the trains. These eastern exits would attract passengers from further afield and connect all passengers quickly to more locations. These eastern exits might allow some bus stops to be relocated to improve network efficiency.

Diagram of proposal

The proposed design risks negative interactions due to key features of passenger behaviour in Sydney.  This design will ensure that there is crowding and congestion at the ticket gates. Sydney residents locate themselves on trains to minimise walking distance. Thus, the front carriages of arriving trains and metros will fill with passengers. In addition, at other stations on the network, passengers will move to board the front carriages causing congestion. This is not a theoretical problem; it is a practical problem that constantly causes delays across the Sydney Trains network. This is a fundamental of station design, and it is confounding to see that in NSW this fundamental is still ignored.

In addition, there the revised design shown no emergency exit at the edges of the station, even though those were shown in the original design.

Since passengers minimise their walking distance and most passengers in Sydney walk less than 800 metres. One entrance in the middle of the station would unduly limit the station’s passenger catchment.

Since the owners of Bankstown Central, Canterbury-Bankstown Council, and the Department of Planning are all planning to redevelop and increase the density of Bankstown Central and surrounding commercial properties ,the developers may be interested in contributing to the cost of these exits for increased foot-traffic.

Similarly, an exit onto Bankstown City Plaza from the Train platform would increase safety, reduce congestion, and increase the catchment area.

Please see the attached diagram. If the project team would like me to explain this in further detail, please contact me.

Sincerely, Mathew Hounsell

Sydney Metro’s Response

Sydney Metro has responded to my submission exactly as I expected (#11 at the end): NO CHANGES. 36 bike parking spaces for trains that carry 900 persons every four minutes. They also missed the point on passengers would crowd at the front of the train for a quick exit.

The departments response is contained in a PDF here.

ItemSubmission issueSydney Metro’s Response
11.1Proposed bike parking area identified as too small and space west of the driveway identified as a location for additional secure covered bike parking to significantly increase the station passenger catchment.The modification includes the provision of a new secure bike storage comprising approximately 36 spaces with additional unsecured bike parking to be provided along the at-grade corridor crossing. In addition, all existing bike parking at the station will be retained.
11.2As Bankstown is noted to be redeveloped as transit-oriented development in the future, by converting 40 of the 50 northern commuter car parking spaces to disabled spaces and increasing bike parking as outlined above, it was noted this would significantly increase station passenger catchment.Sydney Metro does not propose to convert existing commuter car parking spaces to accessible parking spaces. Sydney Metro has made the commitment to ensure no net loss of commuter parking along the rail line and there is insufficient space to provide an additional 40 parking spaces at Bankstown. New accessible parking spaces are proposed to be provided on the southern side of the station, as shown in Figure 5.1 of the Modification Report.
11.3Concern regarding the station design entrances aligning with the front carriages of the metro and the subsequent congestion and delay this causes to transport services.Sydenham to Bankstown metro stations have a mix of front, middle and end entrances to the metro trains. Pedestrian modelling was undertaken to ensure crowding and queuing for customers accessing and egressing the metro at Bankstown Station was at an acceptable level of service. In addition, Sydney’s new-generation metro trains have been designed to make customer journeys easy. The trains include the following features: level access and reduced horizontal gap between the platform and train to allow customer to access trains independently and without the need for staff assistance or rampsthree double doors per side per carriage for faster loading and unloadinginside the trains there are no dividing doors between the carriages, as such customers can move freely along the length of the train to avoid congestion.
11.4Clarification for the revised design to show emergency exits as shown in the original design.Similar to the approved project, the modification proposes to provide emergency exit ramps at the eastern end of the proposed Sydney Metro platforms.
11.5Note that one entrance to the station in the middle of the station would limit the potential customer catchment (800 metres walking distance) to the station.Sydney Metro considers the location of the proposed new metro station entrance a good outcome for the Bankstown community that meets the desired outcomes for the customer and fulfils the Complete Streets ambitions including: improved pedestrian and through-site accessimproved cross-corridor connectionreduced car access and pedestrian-orientedactivation and place makingimproved connectivity to broader CBDefficient rail, metro and bus interchange. Sydney Metro is committed to providing an additional entrance to the Sydney Trains Bankstown Station platform. This will improve the connectivity and interchange between Sydney Trains and Sydney Metro services as well as other modal interchanges, including the existing bus interchange on South Terrace. Sydney Metro also proposes to provide additional bike parking at the new station entrances and throughout the station precinct to cater for those cycling to the station.
11.6Request for provision of an eastern entrance from the Metro platforms to reduce travel times, widen the customer catchment area, improve congestion and delays and improve fire and life safety. A submission noted with additional development in the area, developers may be interested in contributing to an eastern exit. Alternatively a submission noted an exit onto Bankstown City Plaza from the platform would provide similar benefits to an eastern entrance.Refer to Item 3.6 for further discussion regarding the location of station entrances.