THE plan to revitalise the Frankston train station precinct will include a demolition and rebuild of the station itself and the long-awaited electrification of the Baxter train line.
The Frankston Station Precinct Taskforce recommendations on the way forward for the $63 million transport hub project were released last Wednesday (26 August).
Labor Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan will now consider the master plan, put together after community consultation, with improvements to Young St set to begin before mid-2016.
Ways to break up a “cluster” of pharmacotherapy distribution outlets near the train station will be considered and a “new public plaza” will improve the look and feel of Young St.
Bus terminals will remain in Young St. Traders in the street had feared any relocation of buses to Fletcher Rd would have negatively impacted on their businesses.
In a surprising omission, the taskforce decided against the construction of a multi-deck carpark at Frankston station and the state government will work with Frankston Council to increase the number of on-street parking spaces near the station.
Improved pedestrian pathways to nearby parking at Bayside Shopping Centre and the Peninsula Aquatic Recreation Centre are also on the agenda.
Unused short term parking spaces during the week at Bayside Shopping Centre may be leased to meet commuter demand.
Frankston Labor MP Paul Edbrooke said the master plan recommendations “reflect the needs and wants of local stakeholders and the Frankston community”.
“As chair of the taskforce, I would like to personally thank everyone who contributed to the recommendations, and I look forward to seeing them integrated into the new station precinct,” he said.
The Frankston Station Precinct Taskforce included representation from council, Chisholm TAFE, Victoria Police, the Frankston Business Network, Public Transport Victoria and the state government.
Frankston mayor Cr Sandra Mayer said council’s “voice is being heard and the Frankston Transit Interchange redevelopment is on track”.
“We are pleased that the taskforce’s recommendations take on-board many of the recommendations Council presented them in our formal position regarding the redevelopment,” Cr Mayer said.
“In addition to the recommendations presented, council is delighted that the electrification of the line to Baxter is firmly on the agenda in the planning for this precinct.”
The Baxter Electrification Project, a huge undertaking, is expected to take 10-15 years to complete.
Seeking private sector investment by relocating businesses to the station surrounds is another long term aim but the master plan does note the challenge ahead since “new business and investment in the station precinct and city centre is hampered by negative perceptions of Frankston as a place to invest in”.
Cr Mayer said council is “optimistic that the taskforce’s recommendations around the staged development of land owned by the state government and council, will lead toward council’s aim of attracting another government department to establishing offices within the Frankston city centre.”
“How the new station precinct looks and functions is very important, but just as vital is rejuvenating the city centre through residential development and more jobs which will bring new customers to our traders’ doors and improve the perception of safety within our city,” she said.
The state government will will allocate spending in next year’s state budget to begin the station rebuild.