Long trip: Redfern's unavoidable stairs force some to go via Central. Photo: Ben Rushton

For the past five years Edward Hartigan, 29, has been travelling from Campbelltown to Redfern on weekday mornings to pick up copies of The Big Issue to sell in the city.

But Mr Hartigan is in a wheelchair, and Redfern station has no disabled access on any of its 12 platforms.

The ultimate solution is obviously to upgrade the station. 

So Mr Hartigan has to continue on to Central, then use wheelchair batteries to retrace the journey to Redfern. ''I have to roll back from Central all the way to the office, which takes about 20 minutes to 40 minutes of my day,'' Mr Hartigan said.

With any luck, Mr Hartigan will soon have an easier passage to work.

In Parliament on Thursday, Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced Redfern station would finally have a lift installed on one of its platforms.

''At the moment it is virtually impossible for people in wheelchairs to access trains at Redfern, and extremely difficult for parents with prams and the elderly, so this is a good start to ensure all customers can access the network at Redfern,'' Ms Berejiklian said.

Ms Berejiklian said a tender had been issued for a design for lift access to a platform yet to be determined.

If one platform had a lift, it would mean someone in a wheelchair, if not travelling directly to the upgraded platform, could catch a train to Central and transfer back by train to the right platform at Redfern.

''Redfern station is a major transport hub on the network, with 50,000 customers passing through the station every day, and this project will ensure we can provide access to everyone,'' Ms Berejiklian said.

It emerged last week NSW had requested $500,000 from Canberra towards upgrading Redfern. The Department of Infrastructure and Transport recommended Transport Minister Anthony Albanese approve it but he rejected the proposal to fund a station next to his wife Carmel Tebbutt's seat of Marrickville. Ms Tebbutt said she had no knowledge of Mr Albanese's decision and would continue to campaign for a station upgrade.

REDWatch community group spokesman Geoff Turnbull, said he welcomed the announcement as an ''interim solution''.

''We are happy that we've got this but it is not the ultimate solution,'' Mr Turnbull said. ''The ultimate solution is obviously to upgrade the station so there is access on every platform.''

Source: www.smh.com.au/nsw/redfern-ready-to-roll-as-minister-promises-a-lift-20130815-2rzo1.html