Whittlesea Council has welcomed the announcement of a new $3 million carpark to ease parking pressures at South Morang Station.
The Premier, The Hon Dr Denis Napthine, announced that an additional 300 car parking spaces would be built in McDonalds Road (the site of the old works depot during construction of the South Morang Station) and be available for rail commuters in 2015.
Whittlesea Mayor, Cr Mary Lalios, said the new carparking arrangements would cater for the overflow of vehicles parked on Westfield owned land opposite the station by rail commuters who were forced to trudge through the undulating and often muddy paddock daily.
"The announcement of car parking improvements is recognition of the large number of motorists who drive to South Morang to park and catch the train," Cr Lalios said.
"Our community doesn’t have many choices when it comes to train travel. Apart from South Morang, every other suburb in the Plenty Valley corridor is without a train unless they drive or use multiple bus services," she said.
"The large volume of vehicles parked at South Morang also demonstrates the need for the urgent extension of the rail line to Mernda.
"Mernda/Doreen is the fastest growing postcode in Australia and eventually 51,000 people will live there. No amount of carparking can cater for the number of future rail commuters who will be embarking on South Morang.
"The day the new carpark opens, it will no doubt be full."