Southland shopping centre’s train station will have none of the bells and whistles promised by the state government while in opposition, including public toilets, and will now cost $8 million more.
Construction work will begin in 2015 and it is due for completion in 2016, Transport Minister Terry Mulder announced on Wednesday.
In 2010, while campaigning in opposition, the government said it could build the station for $13 million compared with Labor’s $45 million costing.
For $13 million the then opposition said it could include a waiting room, lifts, bike cage, two-bay bus interchange and drop-off and pick-up zone.
None of these are now planned and there will be no public toilets at the station.
Instead, Mr Mulder said the station would have two platforms, a pedestrian underpass, canopies, protective services officer facilities and closed-circuit television – ‘‘all the modern amenities that you would expect of a state-of-the-art railway station’’.
He said the station did not need to supply facilities that were already at the shopping centre, but conceded they would only be available during the centre’s trading hours.
He said the shopping centre had easy pedestrian access and a bus interchange with 13 bus routes feeding into it.
‘‘There are also taxi drop-off points as well and there are also facilities inside the shopping centre such as toilets etcetera. So we didn’t see a need to duplicate those types of services here at the station in their own right,’’ he said.
Southland station is expected to have 4400 passengers a day, and modelling by transport consultancy Sinclair Knight Merz forecast the station could become the fourth biggest on the Frankston line.
Mr Mulder said the station had been promised since 1880.
‘‘It was 1880 when the Frankston line was built [and] they did discuss putting a railway station at this location,’’ Mr Mulder said.
‘‘In 1968, when Southland was built, it was discussed again, and the former Labor government over 11 years discussed putting a station here at Southland,’’ he said.
Mr Mulder said it would take some of the pressure off nearby Cheltenham and Highett stations.
He said Southland’s owner, Westfield and AMP Capital, had not contributed any money to the project despite long negotiations, which had added to the higher cost.
‘‘We have been negotiating long and hard with the owners of this facility to get the best possible outcome we could for taxpayers,’’ Mr Mulder said.
Mark Wild, chief executive officer of Public Transport Victoria, said the station would be built within the narrow rail corridor beside the tracks through a ‘‘clever design’’. He said four car-parking spaces would be lost as part of the entrance to the station.
Large metal gantries above the tracks would also go, he said. He would not release the plans until nearby residents had a chance to view them.
Opposition public transport spokeswoman Jill Hennessy described the announcement as a Southland ‘‘car park stunt’’.
‘‘It’s been three years and five months since this government promised this station and now on the eve of an election apparently it can be delivered, although over budget and lacking construction detail,’’ Ms Hennessy said.
‘‘If elected Labor will have to review this project as essential facilities such as toilets have been left out of the government’s plan.’’