The design tender for the Victorian Government’s upgrade of Bendigo and Eaglehawk Stations has been released.

Minister for Public Transport and Member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan, said the multimillion dollar project will build a new pedestrian overpass with lifts and stairs at Bendigo Station, making it quicker and easier to transfer between platforms.

“The design tender will be finalised this year, work will start next year and by early 2019 the upgrades will be complete – we’re getting on with it,” said Ms Allan.

Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said the waiting area at Bendigo will be improved, as will car parking and traffic management outside the station.

“It’s part of our ongoing investment in better services, stations and public transport in and around Bendigo, and across Victoria,” said Ms Edwards.

At Eaglehawk, the platform will be extended and 60 new car parking spaces built making the station more accessible for local passengers, particularly those with limited mobility and parents with prams.

The $15.8 million project was funded in 2016’s State Budget and responds to findings from a community consultative taskforce established to improve access to Bendigo and Eaglehawk stations.

It follows a significant increase in services to Bendigo, Eaglehawk and other local stations last year with the introduction of two new peak hour services and Stage 1 of Bendigo Metro.

The Victorian Budget 2016/17 also provided $280 million for new regional carriages and $198 million to rebuild V/Line after the former Liberal and National Government removed $120 million from the regional operator.

The upgrades are consistent with the Council’s integrated transport and land use strategy Connecting Greater Bendigo, the Bendigo Station Improvement Plan and the Eaglehawk Station Precinct Master Plan.

Preliminary designs for the upgrades will be finalised later in 2017, with construction due to start next year and be complete by early 2019.

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