THE easy access lifts at Bowral train station were supposed to make life easier for commuters, but Goulburn MP Pru Goward said it has been out of service 28 times since opening in December 2007.

“The usual litany of complaints about local train services has been slightly overshadowed by Transport Minster John Robertson’s revelation,” she said.

“The lifts that were supposed to make platform and street access easier for people who cannot negotiate the steps obviously cannot be relied upon.

“The lifts are certainly in keeping with local train services – neither can be guaranteed to work.”

RailCorp disagreed with Ms Goward’s figures and said both lifts had been available almost 100 per cent of the time and had been out of service 20, not 28, times.

A spokesperson said lift one had been available 99.6 per cent and lift two had worked 99.9 per cent of the time.

Lift one had been out 13 times: eight times through vandalism and five times for equipment failure. Lift two had been out seven times: four for vandalism and three for equipment failure, RailCorp said.

“Put another way, a total of 20 lift faults were reported over a period exceeding 1000 days,” RailCorp said.

“We make a great effort to maintain station lifts in working order. Station lifts are serviced monthly with a major servicing every six months. Busier stations are serviced more regularly.

“Emergency lift telephones are tested twice daily to ensure they remain operational.

“About three-quarters of all breakdowns of station elevators are the result of vandalism, misuse or other external influences, with the remainder the result of equipment failure.”

Ms Goward said she used the lifts when travelling to and from Sydney.

“I use the train services whenever I can and if possible I try to travel to suit the very sparse timetable, but I’m fortunate that apart from sometimes carrying a lot of hand luggage I don’t need to rely on the lifts,” she said.

“Nevertheless, I count myself very lucky that it’s been operating at the time.

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