Cheltenham residents have raised concerns about the functionality and necessity of the Southland train station currently under construction.
The project is expected to cost $21 million and will be used daily by 4000 passengers on the Frankston line.
Since its proposal the idea has been met with objection and disapproval from members of the public, questioning the need for a station based on close proximity to existing Cheltenham and Highett stations.
In March 2015, 450 locals attended a Public Transport Victoria information session about Southland station to raise their concerns, primarily about noise pollution and parking issues from increased traffic congestion.
Emily Marie, who travels by car to work in Southland shopping centre, said “instead of parking going to actual shoppers who will fill their trolleys with stuff they’ll be taken by people that are just catching the train.
“I think it will impact those of us who work here because it’ll be harder for us to get a spot and if they introduce paid parking that will also inconvenience us.
“If the shopping centre’s profits go down from no parking being available then that could cost us our jobs,” Ms Marie said.
In a media release, Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said “thousands of passengers will now get direct and safe access to Southland shopping centre – for the first time.
“Southland station will boost public transport access to the shopping centre with a safer, more direct route while providing an alternative to neighbouring Highett and Cheltenham stations.
“We will consult closely with local residents and the community about the design of the new station,” the Minister said.
Some residents are in support of the new station due of its proposed increased accessibility and safety.
Cheltenham resident Paul Smith said “I have daughters who regularly catch public transport to Southland and it’ll be safer for them and elderly people when they don’t have to wait around for buses or walk like they do now.
“Parking is certainly going to be a hassle when it’s up and running, with all the people catching the train but they can’t do much about that.
“Some people might think it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money but it’s progress – it was always going to be built eventually,” Mr Smith said.
Works are on track to be completed by the end of 2017.