• Michael Andjelkovic

11 Commuters Fight Fines

EDMONDSON PARK | Vehicle owners fight fines Liverpool Champion Article

Madelaine Wong April 24 2018 - 9:42AM

Edmondson Park Station: Renowned for a chock-a-block carpark and insufficient street parking in surrounding streets.

Among a stressful week of bushfire havoc, residents were left distressed after they were fined by Sydney Trains for parking illegally at Edmondson Park Station last Tuesday.

The station is renowned for the chock-a-block carpark and insufficient street parking in surrounding streets.

Commuter Gina Howdry was one of several residents who was hit with a $150 penalty for parking in a no-stopping zone.

But Ms Howdry explained commuters were left with little choice.

“This an ongoing issue. I think that they’ve really underestimated the population. There’s new housing estates and nowhere to park at the station,” she said.

“I think Sydney Trains are targeting small pockets of people everyday so they can avoid a big crowd of people with pitchforks.

“I went out of my way to park in a safer spot – where I wasn’t blocking anyone. It was the only one available, a part from one that was on the side of a ditch on the main road.”

She said she disputed the fine.

“I think it’s ridiculous – that fine would be worth three-weeks worth of transport. I mentioned the fact there’s insufficient parking and I’ve been involved in a petition. I don’t think people should be exempt from road rules in anyway, but there should be a period of flexibility.

“Other people were parked in bus zones and in more dangerous spots but they didn’t get a ticket. There’s also a lot of road closures to make matters worse.”

She said since being fined, she’s driven to work.

“The reason why I go to that station is because my son’s childcare is close and I’m in a rush to get to work. I only caught the train for convenience!

“We’re encouraged to catch the train but there’s no parking spots. I drove to work today because of the ticket. The day after I got the ticket I drove to work as well.”

The local petition Ms Howdry supported was started by resident, Michael Andjelkovic.

The petition has gained more than 5,500 signatures and calls for the NSW Government to develop a two-storey commuter car park at Edmondson Park station.

Mr Andjelkovic said he wasn’t surprised about the fines.

“Not only is there council rangers, but Sydney trains have their own transit police. The transit police have told me they book cars in an unsafe area. People are getting fined, and it’s still because of insufficient parking,” he said.

“I hoped they'd be a little more lenient unless someone is parked in a dangerous manner or blocking someone but they’ve chosen to take that attitude. The transit police have to do their job too. But the people don’t have much of a choice so it’s a catch 22.”

He said he’s gained support from local MP’s.

“I’ve had a response from the premier and she said she’s sent my submission to the Minister for Transport. I’ve also had a response from Member for Camden saying he’d hand deliver my letter to Andrew Constance.

“Paul Lynch sent me a couple of speeches he made to parliament about it. Member for Macquarie Fields is supportive too. But I haven’t heard back from Member for Mulgoa yet.”

Member for Mulgoa MP Tanya Davies told the Champion the NSW Government is already investing a record $82 billion into infrastructure needs across the state.

“I welcome the community’s feedback on the needs for south-west Sydney as this Government continues to deliver the infrastructure which the Labor Party failed to deliver for nearly two decades.”

Meanwhile, Member for Holsworthy MP Melanie Gibbons said she looked forward to working with Mr Andjelkovic.

“We have responded to Mr Andjelkovic and we’ve mentioned to him that it’s something we’ve been fighting for a long time as well. I’m happy he’s on board and I hope our joint efforts will help secure a better facility.

“I’ve offered to help him set up a meeting with the Transport Minister if he wants and I’ve offered to present his petition to parliament. We’ve got 260 new spaces for Holsworthy and we’re hoping to build more at Edmondson Park Station soon. That line is incredibly popular and utilised better than it was anticipated when it was first built.”

Member for Macquarie Fields MP Anoulack Chanthivong said he was taking action.

“The State Liberal Government is to blame for the commuter car parking crisis at Edmondson Park Station, with people unfairly risking fines just to get to work. Commuters are rightly frustrated and angry. Our community deserves better and deserves a fair go,” Mr Chanthivong said.

“I’ve launched a petition calling on the State Government to fund a multi-storey commuter car park at Edmondson Park station in the 2018-19 Budget.”

After hearing about the residents complaints, we asked Sydney Trains what their response was.

A spokesperson said: “Transport for NSW is reviewing its approach to prioritising, locating and funding interchange upgrades and commuter car parks in coordination with the Future Transport 2056 Strategy. We continue to monitor and develop the bus network feeding into Leppington and Edmondson Park Stations.

“In addition, Transport for NSW is trialling an on demand shuttle bus service for commuters wishing to travel to Edmondson Park Station.”

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