Williams Landing – ‘Sneak Peak’

Williams Landing Station 1

Williams Landing Train Station

Williams Landing Train Station is set to open for commuters on Sunday April 28th, and to celebrate, Public Transport Victoria (PTV) held a ‘Sneak Peak’ this morning where members of the public could have a look at the new facilities.

The publicity of the event was commendable, with brochures in letter boxes, advertisements online and in newspapers, and as a result, the organisers of this event ought to be really happy with the turn out!

Hundreds of people were in attendance, from babies to the elderly, all coming out on a windy Sunday morning for a bit of a nosey. Several shuttle buses brought Williams Landing residents in droves, the car park was almost full, and several people came by foot or bicycle.

There are some really fantastic aspects of this new station. It will be extremely convenient for Residents of Williams Landing, who will have easy access via road or foot from several vantage points at the South end of the suburb (once the roads open and the development is finished).

Williams Landing Ramp

Ramp to the train platform

Its fantastic to see a train station with pedestrian foot ramps from both Williams Landing and Point Cook, as well as stairs and elevators to provide different options for commuters to reach the station which is situated above the train tracks. Along the pedestrian ramps that were open today, there were benches part way up for those who needed to take a break as the ramps are quite a long walk.

Williams Landing Platform

Williams Landing Platform

The train platform is excellent. Access is available via ramp, stairs or elevator. There are electronic notice boards, plenty of shelter and benches available for waiting.

There are five bus shelters available, one for each of the bus routes that will access the station. Each shelter provides six seats and a timetable of the route, and they all have fantastic overhead shelter for rain.

Williams Landing Bus shelter

Bus Shelter

The whole bus area is monitored by the use of several video surveillance cameras, hopefully making a safe environment for commuters throughout the day and night. A rather small bike shed, with space for 16 hanging and perhaps 10 or so bikes on the floor, is also available in the bus shelter area.

 

There are, unfortunately, several issues that are being discussed in the media and social media, and only time will tell which of these will become serious problems for commuters after the station is open.

Williams Landing bus stops

Row of five bus stops

There is no bus lane on Palmers Road from Point Cook to Williams Landing station. As residents of Point Cook are well aware, this, and every other road out of Point Cook, is at a standstill from around 7am-9am on week days. Adding four new bus routes in Point Cook, all of which travel down Palmers Road to the train station every 22 minutes – around 10 buses an hour – can only add to the stress of commuters heading to the freeway every morning.

Residents of Point Cook are already frustrated with our bus service, with them being unreliable and inefficient – one of which was reportedly cancelled in peak hour because it couldn’t get through the traffic. With these new buses stuck in the freeway traffic on Palmers Road, it is unlikely they will make it to their destination on time. One does wonder why the buses couldn’t drop commuters off at Wallace Ave for them to access the station from the massive new footbridge that spans the freeway. As a fellow PCAG Board Member stated to me at the event this morning:

sitting on a bus which is stuck in traffic on top of the Palmers Road bridge, will infuriate passengers as they watch their trains take off below without them.

The other issue with the buses at the station is that it is possibly up to a five minute walk (possibly longer for those with mobility issues)  for commuters to travel between the bus stops and the train platforms. One can only hope that the bus timetable takes this into account when trying to marry the bus and the train services together.

Williams Landing Car park

Williams Landing Car Park

The car park at the station reportedly holds 500 cars and several residents have already expressed their concern that the car park will be overflowing from day one. Today, I estimate the car park was at least 3/4 full when I left the event around 11am. As many people had walked or come to the event via a free shuttle bus service, I’m inclined to agree that it just wont be big enough to meet demands.

However, if the new bus routes proves to be an excellent service that manages to get through the traffic on Palmers Road, snake around the dog leg, and reaches the station on time, with time allocated to reach the platform, perhaps we’ll see hundreds of commuters from Point Cook take the bus and train instead.

Time will tell, and I’m sure we all have our fingers crossed!

Were you at the opening today? What did you think?

 

Comments

  1. You keep saying that there should be a dedicated lane for the four new bus services going up Palmers Road to Williams Landing. I think the main priority at this time should be more BUS STOPS on the new routes and and remember eveyone does not want to go to Williams Landing . On the 493 route along Dunnings Road it is about 1.7 km. between stops . I have all of these four new services the 494 495 493 and the 497 go within 30 metres of my house but the nearest stop is about 800 metres away .So lets try and get what is there now working properly. BUT !!! if they do put more bus stops in, then the buses would have to stop more times to pick up passegers and this would alter there time tables. And then we should be lobbying for a dedicated bus lane on Palmers Road.I can see most of the day these buses are running with very few passengers on them … So i conclude

    1 More bus stops = more passengers
    2 More passengers = lobby for bus lane
    Derek

  2. The bus new routes do not help residents in western part of Point Cook such as Kingsford and West Innisfail estates. At the moment, you need to walk at least 15 minutes to the closest 495 stop at the Boardwalk Bvd!

    At least, the 495 route should be adjusted so it goes left from Boardwalk Boulevard to Sneydes Rd (Williams Landing bound) – turns right to Hacketts Road – turns right to Toms Robert Parade – left to Boardwalk Boulevard.

    Otherwise, please reinstate 416 route so we can still go to Hoppers Crossing station.