Despite a community petition signed by 3000 locals and a lengthy campaign, three “dangerous” level crossings in Brimbank have so far failed to make the government’s level crossing removal list.
The community has for years called for the removal of level crossings along the Ballarat rail line at Station Road, Deer Park; Robinsons Road, Deer Park; and Fitzgerald Road, Sunshine West.
Last week the Labor government pledged to remove another 25 of Melbourne’s most dangerous and congested level crossings by 2025 if it is re-elected. Eleven of those 25 have not been named.
Brimbank mayor Margaret Giudice said the council was hoping the three crossings on the Ballarat line would be on the list.
Cr Giudice said the crossings are creating chaos on the roads.
“Boom gates are down for 30-40 minutes per hour during morning peak times creating a traffic choke point.
“This includes periods of up to nine minutes where multiple trains are going through, including trains stopping at Deer Park, which means barrier gates are down for longer than necessary.
“The roads are so heavily congested in peak periods that drivers are becoming frustrated and can display erratic driving behavior. This increases the risks for all road users.
“Buses also face substantial delays at the Station Road and Fitzgerald Road crossings,” Cr Giudice said.
“Council has received numerous complaints from community members expressing their concern with the current situation,” Cr Giudice said.
The government recently committed to electrifying the Ballarat rail line from Southern Cross to Melton as part of its Western Rail Plan. While the council welcomed the news, it says the electrification plans made the removal of the three Brimbank level crossings even more vital.