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PTV/Yarra Trams substation at St Kilda Junction Summary of Events

For two years prior to May, 2017 Public Transport Victoria(PTV) / Yarra Trams was planning a prefabricated substation to be installed at St Kilda Junction to upgrade its power supply. There was no consultation with the local community.

April 2017 JAAG learns of the plans and expresses concern about the location of the substation, its appearance and the impact this will have on both the aesthetics of the Junction and the proposed St Kilda Junction Master Plan. 

4 May 2017, as a result of community pressure, PTV/Yarra Trams holds a public information session attended by over 100 local residents. The meeting rejects the 4 proposed suggestions to finishes to the substation exterior. 

28 June 2017 JAAG and City of Port Phillip provide input to PTV on the location and the design brief for concept plans to screen the substation. Several alternative locations were put forward and safety concerns raised with sight lines at present location.

22 November 2017 PTV rejects all alternative locations put to them by JAAG, but commits to an architectural screen to the substation. Three alternative proposals prepared by Jackson Architecture for PTV/Yarra Trams for the screening of the substation are put on public display. 

Future Forest
Lighthouse
Timeline

13 December 2017 PTV informed the community that there was a clear preference for Option 1.  The ’Future Forest’design is chosen.

5 February 2018 the substation ‘box’ is positioned at St Kilda Junction.

Substation Box

26 July 2018 PTV informs JAAG that the substation is in service.  Works not started on exterior architectural façade however PTV commits to these works being completed by end of 2018.

24 September 2018 Meeting facilitated by Port Phillip Council for Council, JAAG, PTV officers and partner of Jackson Architecture to discuss detail drawings of ‘Future Forest’design.  Concerns raised by JAAG of integrity of final design compared to original concept. 

15 October 2018 & 14 November 2018, JAAG wrote to the Minister for Transport (Jacinta Allan) to request the Minister’s intervention to direct the relevant authorities to adopt an approach which properly addresses the previously committed ‘Future Forest’ concept.

November 2018 PTV reaffirms its commitment to deliver the ‘Future Forest’ in line with the original concept, and that work will start as soon as possible. JAAG expresses concern that the detailed drawings for the ‘Future Forest’ depart substantially from the original concept, and that the result will not accord with what was committed by PTV/Yarra Trams.

9 January 2019 JAAG corresponds with the Minister for Transport Infrastructure about the changes to the design and the delay in completing the work.

22 March 2019 construction at the site commenced with installation of the pilings for the façade structure of ‘Future Forest’.

30 August 2019 PTV advised that after a site inspection this week they were satisfied that the façade has been completed in accordance with the construction plans that JAAG was provided with late last year. However, due to safety reasons a temporary rope barrier is installed to prevent pedestrians from crossing the tracks directly in front of the substation. (There is a safety risk that inattentive pedestrians will not see trams if crossing the tracks at that location). Yarra trams will install a permanent fencing solution – the exact specifications are yet to be determined.

St Kilda Substation

03 September 2019 JAAG corresponds with the Minister for Transport Infrastructure to advise that JAAG is of the view that current substation does not meet either the original intent or necessary safety requirements as were raised by JAAG over 2 years ago when seeking alternative locations for the substation.  This safety breach is a serious issue as the substation location has created a blind spot for pedestrians and cyclists travelling in a west to east direction along the only at-grade west-east footpath from Fitzroy Street, used by thousands of pedestrians and cyclists (including tourists) who are not familiar with the area.   

JAAG requested that the ‘portable’ substation and its surrounds be removed from its current location and a purpose built substation be installed at a location where it does not jeopardise pedestrian, cyclists, and motorists safety, and where it is not a blight at a major gateway location.

4 December 2019 JAAG wrote to Minister for Public Transport, Melissa Horne, to request her to address the safety issue mentioned by JAAG for pedestrians who are lawfully crossing St. Kilda Road west to east along the footpath from Fitzroy Street; the substation itself has created a blind spot when one did not exist before, and this obviously creates an unsafe situation for those using the footpath.

July 2020 After JAAG raising concerns in 2019 with PTV/Yarra Trams and Ministers for Transport & Transport Infrastructure of the safety risk to inattentive pedestrians and cyclists whose sightline of  trams travelling from the south had been blocked by the substation when they were walking/cycling west to east, the temporary fence was replaced with a permanent timber fence on the week commencing 22nd June, 2020 and traffic signals installed at the footpath level. Works were completed in July 2020.

Completed substation with pedestrian lights
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