UNSUNG HERO: Brian Young

IT may have taken him more than a decade but for one passionate Cardiff resident new developments at Cardiff train station were well worth the effort.

Brian Young has lived in Cardiff his whole life and knew the station was in need of improvements, especially in one particular area.

The entries and exits had too many stairs, and Mr Young noticed how difficult it was for a lot of passengers to deal with the strain.

‘‘I went to school in Cardiff and I’ve been here all my life. I knew all about how it was and how hard it was for people,’’ he said.

‘‘There’s people with prams, in wheelchairs and a lot of elderly people.

‘‘I had a mother who was 94 who went to Sydney a couple of times a week and she couldn’t get up and down the steps all the time.’’

So Mr Young put it upon himself to make a difference.

He met with John Mills, then state member for Wallsend, and it was decided that a petition should be drawn up.

Mr Young set off, by himself, and managed to gather 10,000 signatures to table in Parliament.

‘‘It cost me about two pairs of joggers, a lot of phone calls and some petrol money but it was worth it,’’ he said.

‘‘I managed 10,000 easy. I wanted to get 15,000 but John [Mills] stopped me.’’

From there on the battle was taken up by local politicians, including Sonia Hornery, state member for Wallsend, and Greg Combet, federal member for Charlton.

Yet despite the petition being tabled in 2001  it was not until June 2010 that the state government allocated funding for the upgrade.

It included two new lifts, a regraded ramp and footpath, a new main station building, CCTV upgradings and a toilet for those with disabilities. Work finally began in April this year.

Mr Young’s commitment is widely appreciated by the Cardiff community and he is often thanked while walking the streets or in the supermarket.

‘‘I’m not a show pony, I’m just a pensioner that minds his own business but I could see what needed to happen,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s going to make Cardiff a lot better and the business people are going to gain with the access to the shopping centre.

‘‘I did this all off my own bat and I did it honestly and properly.

‘‘I’m very proud of what I’ve done and very happy I finally got there.’’

The work is supposed to be complete sometime next year and Mr Young says he will there when the ribbon gets cut and the first lift starts operating.

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