A long community campaign to have three level crossings along the Ballarat line removed has paid off.
Days before the state election, St Albans MP Natalie Suleyman joined Premier Daniel Andrews and promised to remove the crossings at Station Road, Deer Park; Robinsons Road, Deer Park; and Fitzgerald Road, Sunshine West if re-elected.
The crossings have been included on the state government’s list of removals by 2025.
The government also pledged to upgrade the Deer Park train station.
Brimbank mayor Lucinda Congreve said a lot of advocacy work had gone into achieving the outcome.
“In June we invited relevant state government ministers, shadow ministers and local MPs to Deer Park train station during morning peak hour, to witness first-hand the traffic chaos at the level crossing,” Cr Congreve said.
“In September, we delivered a community petition signed by 3000 locals to the office of Member for St Albans, Natalie Suleyman, calling for the removal of these level crossings.
“This announcement is testament to what can be achieved when council and the community work together to bring about change.”
The council contends that increased train services along the Ballarat line and increasing traffic have created an urgent need for grade separations. It says boom gates at the crossings 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.
The council claims the roads are so heavily congested in peak periods that drivers are becoming frustrated and engaging in dangerous driving behaviour.
Buses also face substantial delays at the Station Road and Fitzgerald Road crossings.