Construction has commenced on a new train station in Melbourne that will provide more than 4,000 passengers a day with direct access to Southland shopping centre.

Works will begin with the construction of an underpass which connects the station’s two platforms. The new station will include direct access from the shopping centre, bathrooms and ramp and stair access to both platforms.

Early works on the project were completed in early 2016, including the installation of track drainage and cabling works, as well as raising the tracks to provide a straight track for the station.

Victorian Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said, “Thousands of passengers will now get direct and safe access to Southland shopping centre – for the first time.

“Southland station will boost public transport access to the shopping centre with a safer, more direct route while providing an alternative to neighbouring Highett and Cheltenham stations.”

Victorian Member for Bentleigh Nick Staikos said, “This is a government that keeps its promises. We promised a new station for Southland and we’re getting it done.

“The new station will give shoppers, workers and families direct access to this vibrant retail hub.”

Local residents, shoppers and staff will for the first time have direct access to the shopping centre by public transport. They currently have to walk or catch the bus from Highett and Cheltenham stations.

Traffic and parking congestion in the surrounding streets will be eased by encouraging people to leave their car at home.

Key design elements of the station have been shaped by consultation with the local community including incorporating toilets into the station layout.

Construction on the new station will be complete by the end of 2017.

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