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Pedestrian access to be allowed through Roma Street Station

Date

Cameron Atfield

Slain Korean student Eunji Ban.

Slain Korean student Eunji Ban.

Queensland Rail will allow pedestrian access through one of its Roma Street train platforms after lobbying by residents in the wake of Korean student Eunji Ban’s brutal death.

But the thoroughfare would only be open for an additional three hours a night – from the current 8pm closing time to 11pm – to allow residents’ access through the station.

Ms Ban, 22, was killed between 4am and 4.20am on November 24 as she walked through Wickham Park on her way to work at the nearby Transcontinental Hotel.

Residents at the Roma Street Parklands apartments, where Ms Ban lived, campaigned to have after-hours pedestrian access at Roma Street Station, saying the young student might still be alive if she had that option.

Transport Minister Scott Emerson said a six-month trial would begin on Monday, giving residents access from the Parklands side of the station from 3am until 11pm.*

“A Queensland Rail staff member would be stationed at the platform 10 fare gates,” Mr Emerson said.

“Passengers currently have to walk the streets around the station after 8pm, when platform 10 closes, causing the community to raise safety concerns.

“However, following community feedback we promised to look at options to keep that side of Roma Street station open.

“I’m pleased Queensland Rail has been able to keep the entrance open for three extra hours at night.”

Mr Emerson said the government would evaluate the success of the trial in coming months.

“Passenger movements and customer feedback will be monitored and reviewed at the end of the trial to establish whether it is a success,” Mr Emerson said.

“We will continue to work with transit officers, security guards and in partnership with our dedicated Police Railway Squad as well as monitor our more than 8000 CCTV cameras to help keep the station and our wider network safe.”

Brisbane City Council's Labor Opposition Leader Milton Dick said the trial did not go far enough.

“Local resident’s personal safety concerns don’t stop at 11pm each night and pedestrians have to walk the dark streets around Roma Street Train Station when the platform 10 entrance, which links Roma Street and the train station to nearby apartment buildings, closes at night,” he said 

“We’re not talking about a few people who might be walking late at night. 

“There are 1200 people living in the Roma Street Parklands apartments and more than 8,200 people who call Brisbane’s CBD home.”

Roma Street Parklands resident Clayton Payne said although he supported the move, more needed to be done.

"It's a step in the right direction," he said.

"Hopefully though the powers that be can be persuaded to keep it open permanently."  

Late last year, in the wake of Ms Ban’s death, a Queensland Rail spokeswoman said closing platform 10 reduced “security issues and antisocial behaviour” after 8pm.

A Queensland Rail spokeswoman said the platform 10 entrance was primarily for travellers accessing long distance passenger services, which do not arrive or depart after 8pm.

 “In order for the entrance to remain open and the area secure, additional staffing would be required,” she said in November.

“As Queensland Rail does not require this role for operational purposes, this is deemed unnecessary and inefficient."

Comment has been sought from Parklands apartments building manager Graham Page.

Spring Hill man Alex Reuben McEwan, 19, was charged with Ms Ban’s murder.

* CORRECTION: A previous version of this story said the changes would not have helped Ms Ban, who died sometime between 4am and 4.20am on November 24. Mr Emerson's office has since clarified the platform will be open from 3am to 11pm during the trial.

8 comments so far

  • Whilst 'Platform 10' is only used for travellers, the entrance from the Parklands would be used more for general commuters who either work around that area or the many joggers throughout the parklands. It also means events that are held in the Parklands that run late at night, the patrons and staff can gain access quicker to public transport options or even the Roma Street car park area safer and under supervision. I would be supporting this move to be made more permanent - if QR cannot foot the bill for staffing perhaps they can work with Brisbane City Council Parklands and hire private security instead?

    Commenter
    Kylii H.
    Date and time
    May 06, 2014, 12:12PM
    • why doesnt the council put money into lighting and security cameras etc on the long way around? dont know the area but to me seems like a council issue to solve not QR even though leaving the gates open couldnt be that hard hire a chubb security guard for 6hrs and done.....

      Commenter
      kanga
      Location
      brisbane
      Date and time
      May 06, 2014, 1:25PM
      • At last. A sensible decision from the Minister for Transport.
        Pedestrian access for workers and others needing to get through the station. Long time coming.

        Commenter
        James
        Location
        Brisbane
        Date and time
        May 06, 2014, 2:03PM
        • It is so terribly sad to think that a young woman working irregular hours, as many do, could not find a safe route to walk to or from work. I know I recently came home from a social event (that took an unexpected detour) on the ferry and had to walk through an area that is usually full of people but was almost deserted - I felt nervous! But at least it was well lit and I didn't have to walk around a blocked off route. For women in this day and age, there is an imperative to be able to work and participate in many activities, sometimes we want to, or have to, be out late in order to realise that full participation in life - but urban environments favour motorists, and I think many planners and regulators tend to have a bias in their thinking - they don't register that many people cant afford parking or taxis or have arranged to live somewhere that allows a pedestrian lifestyle, yet this may not be supported by good security and lighting. Lots of people do shiftwork, lots of people attend live music events that go until after midnight, etc. That is the price of being a modern global city. Roma Street is a transport hub and now a residential area. Lets make it as safe as can be for everyone.

          Commenter
          Ms Behavin
          Location
          Brisbane
          Date and time
          May 06, 2014, 2:07PM
          • This is a small step forward and I am pleased to see some movement. Brisbane is relatively safe BUT it is clear that we can do much better! I am calling for a formal review to the Queensland Parliament. Due to the relevance of this issue I am sharing this information - if you would like to have your voice heard before the Queensland Parliament, please sign this and share - you have until 21 May 2014. ahttp://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/e-petition?PetNum=2248 . The tweet feed is #SafeStreetsForSophie. You may also have heard us talking about the issue of safety on ABC612 with Steve Austin yesterday. This is your opportunity to kick-start further reviews and reforms at a government level.

            Commenter
            Natasha
            Location
            Brisbane
            Date and time
            May 06, 2014, 3:39PM
            • I assume the only reason you can't go through Roma St station is the fare gates? Why not remove the fare gates and replace them a larger number of plain old gocard readers like those at suburban stations. The gates are too slow and can't handle peak traffic anyway, so are a total PITA. A larger number of gocard readers will get people through much faster and won't increase fare evasion because if you want to get out of Roma St without tagging, you can tail someone through the sslllooooowwwwww gates or the guy at the gate let's you out without question anyway!

              Commenter
              Plug
              Location
              Brisbane
              Date and time
              May 06, 2014, 4:18PM
              • Plug,
                the "guy at the gate" has no authority to STOP anyone leaving or entering the station, the often abused Customer Service Attendants manning the fare gates have been instructed to allow people access as it is the Rail Squad and Transit Ticket Officers that are employed for "revenue Protection" I am assuming this directive comes from the powers that be ie; the Transport Minister and Translink Management.... FREE RIDES FOR EVERYONE!!!!

                Commenter
                In the know
                Location
                Brissie
                Date and time
                May 08, 2014, 11:40PM
            • On last Saturday 3rd May at 8 .30 PM I helped a young women from 'Alberta Canada' with a very Big Bag find a cab outside of Roma. There were no cabs at the Roma Street cab rank, and it was just plain scary for this poor lady who had to deal with the smell of Homeless Men who sleep in the cavity of the Station. The whole Roma Street, Police Station area needs to be upgraded to take into account how young people use this area. The back packers who reside at the end of Roma Street, walk over and the used this street to go shopping at Coles at 'The Barracks'. They are confronted with good and bad things. The area needs to be clean and safe. The Council should set up a Booth with local Volunteers who's role is to help and guide students and young visitors.

              Commenter
              Anthony
              Location
              Brisbane
              Date and time
              May 06, 2014, 5:18PM

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