THE annual six week closure of the Bankstown rail line over five years during the construction of the Sydney Southwest Metro, will not proceed following huge community opposition.
In a number of changes to the original plan, the NSW Government has also vowed to protect the heritage character of stations along the 122-year-old rail line between Bankstown and Sydenham, such as ticket booths and platform buildings.
As part of the project, lifts will be installed at Dulwich Hill, Hurlstone Park, Canterbury, Wiley Park and Punchbowl stations.
Instead of the proposed six-week annual closure of the current line, a program of closures will be considered to minimise impacts for commuters. Short term station closures will also be considered to enable the installation of lifts, level platforms and upgrade buildings.
The community group opposing the metro, the Sydenham to Bankstown Alliance, says the announcement is "sugar coating" the project ahead of a NSW election in nine months.
"The electorate is much more informed now and will not be fooled," spokesperson Barbara Coorey said.