Sydney’s Town Hall and Wynyard station are among the seven remaining wooden escalators in the world, and, finally, after some 80 years, it seems they might be given the chop for good.
The wooden escalator was first installed in Sydney in 1932, the same year the Sydney Harbour Bridge opened.
The escalators have continued operation due to their classification as a heritage item. There has been concerns from the disabled community, as well as those who are visually impaired, regarding their safety.
In 2013, the Guide Dog community addressed their concerns when Simone heard her guide dog Gidget yelp out in pain. It turns out Gidget’s paw was stuck in the wide tooth comb escalators and couldn’t get off the escalator.
MP, Member for Londonderry Bart Bassett believes, “Heritage has to stop being used as an excuse to stop improvement to infrastructure across NSW” (Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, 2013).
The cost to replace escalators at Town Hall and Wynyard Station would be around $12 million dollars (Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, 2013).