The state government has announced it will fast track the removal of the level crossing on Kororoit Creek Road at Williamstown North.

Williamstown MP Wade Noonan said the removal of the crossing, near the Altona Mobil refinery, would improve traffic flow and avoid near misses.

“This is great news for residents, as it will ease congestion and improve the safety of our roads,” he said. “The design of these crossings will be the subject of extensive consultation with the local council and the community.”

He said in the past 10 years there had been a number of near misses at the crossing, which had been reported by Metro and V/Line train drivers to the safety regulator.

The crossing is used by more than 40 buses, 100 trains and 20,000 vehicles each day.

On average, the barriers are down for 11 minutes during peak hour periods.

Hobsons Bay mayor Peter Hemphill said the council would continue to work with the level crossing removal authority to ensure the best possible community outcome.

“At this early stage in proceedings, council needs to gain a better understanding of the project detail to form a view and assess any potential impacts it may have on the nearby area or the running of Altona loop services,” Cr Hemphill said.

The level crossing works are due to be completed by 2019.

Three other crossings fast-tracked for removal are on the Melton Highway at Sydenham, Abbotts Road at Dandenong South and Thompsons Road at Lyndhurst.

Premier Daniel Andrews said removing the crossings will create capacity to run more trains.

“These level crossings are dangerous, congested, and suffocate our train system,” the Premier said.

“They are relics of the past and they need to go.”

Community consultation about the latest crossing projects will start in coming weeks.

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