Thousands of Deakin University staff and students will find it easier and quicker to get to class with a Suburban Rail Loop (SRL) station right on their doorstep.
The station will be a welcoming gateway, with a pedestrian overpass across Burwood Highway leading directly to the university campus. The overpass will be around two minutes faster than the current pedestrian crossing – leaving just enough time for students to grab a coffee and still get to class.
Deakin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin has thrown his support behind the SRL station, describing it as a once in a generation opportunity for Deakin to be part of a 20-minute neighbourhood.
‘The Burwood Station development will be a catalyst for the revitalisation and transformation of the Burwood Precinct. We are working closely with Suburban Rail Loop Authority to ensure the best possible outcome for our community,’ Professor Martin said.
‘The overpass provides our students, staff and visitors a safe route over a tramway and a busy 6-lane highway which would otherwise have acted as a significant barrier to pedestrian connectivity.’
Catching public transport or riding to and from the station will also be more convenient, with a new bus interchange, 750 bike parking spaces and a new route 75 tram stop right outside the university. A three metre-wide shared cycling and walking path will run along the western boundary of the station precinct and connect the Gardiners Creek Trail to Bennettswood Reserve, with a cycle crossing at Burwood Highway leading to Deakin University.
‘The integration of the station with buses and trams will provide multi-modal transport connectivity. Along with the opportunity to improve fragmented cycling connections, the SRL development will provide genuine transport choice,’ Professor Martin said.
A trip along SRL East from Cheltenham to Burwood will take less than 20 minutes, meaning a future student travelling from Cheltenham to Deakin will save up to 60 minutes return every day. Trains will run every 6 minutes in the peak, increasing with demand to about every 2 minutes.
SRL East will be complete by 2035, with construction starting in 2022 – generating 800 direct jobs during Initial and Early Works and up to 8000 direct local jobs during construction.