2023 ‘Road Safety’ Category Winner

Blacktown City Council, NSW

Schofields Station Carpark

The Initiative

Blacktown City Council has designed and constructed a new carpark that maximises carparking spaces while creating a safe environment and targeting road user risk factors such as disabled access and urban heat.

Rapid growth in the Schofields area has created high parking demand especially near Schofields Railway Station. The former carpark only provided 28 formalised carpark spaces with an adjacent informal carpark. It also lacked any managed traffic flow, which created the risk of vehicle collisions as well as risk to pedestrians.

The new carpark provides 144 parking spots including three disabled spots.

To maximise the number of car spots, the new carpark is constructed with an innovative cantilever over the top of a bank, supported by a combined retaining wall and safety barrier at the edges of the north and eastern sides. Further, aquaplaning is eliminated through mid-block vegetation in the centre of the largest part of the carpark.

In the surface construction, we used decomposed granite stabilised with water permeable binder to combat the heat island effect. This surface type absorbs less heat than traditional surfaces like concrete and asphalt and therefore does not store and release heat at the same levels

Blacktown City Council also planted additional native trees within the site to increase shade, improve air quality and minimise the visual impact of the carpark. Hardy species were selected to deal with the harsh carpark environment and cope with western Sydney summers.

Our aim is that these trees will provide up to 50 percent shade cover over the carpark within 10 years. This aligns with our ‘Cooling Canopies’ program and other initiatives.

This critical piece of infrastructure supports the growing community at Schofields by providing four key road safety features:

  • efficient transport links;
  • safe and clearly marked spaces, wayfinding signposts and disabled parking spaces;
  • effective and aesthetically pleasing safety barriers that incorporate a retaining wall and safety grille; and
  • reduction in heat island effect through shade from trees, landscaping and choice of heat absorbing materials.
Aerial photo of Schofields Station Carpark. Photo credit: Blacktown City Council, NSW

About the Category

The ‘Road Safety’ category recognises local government initiatives which:

  • improve road or roadside infrastructure with a focus on safety benefits including heavy vehicle transport;
  • improve emergency medical response services for those involved in road crashes; and/or
  • address the specific safety needs of vulnerable groups or target specific road user risk factors.

Successful initiatives in this award category benefit communities by:

  • making communities safer and more liveable;
  • reducing the financial costs of road congestion and transport accidents; and/or
  • contributing to reductions in deaths and serious injuries from road crashes.

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