A Deer Park level crossing described as “terrible” by local commuters is holding up ambulances trying to get through to emergencies.
In an online, anonymous petition, which calls for the Mt Derrimut Road level crossing to be removed, one person wrote: “I have seen ambulances stuck at the level crossing several times”.
“This level crossing is terrible,” another wrote. “Always faulty.”
Local paramedic Morgan McCarthy said she had heard of ambulance crews being held up at the Deer Park level crossing.
“We like to avoid them [crossings], but we’d never push through boom gates.”
Ambulance Victoria’s acting regional manager for Metro West, Andy Roughton, said ambulances were delayed “on occasion” at level crossings while responding to emergencies.
“We have processes and systems in place for crews to alert our communications centre of delays,” he said.
Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan said the Deer Park crossing was not on the government’s priority list of level crossing removals but it would be “considered in the future”.
The petition, circulating on change.org, has been signed by more than 370 people so far.Attempts to find out who started the petition have been unsuccessful.
Several paragraphs in the petition are exact copies of those in a letter read out in Parliament by Western Metropolitan MP Bernie Finn last November.
The letter was sent to Mr Finn by local commuter Daniel Attard, who last week told
Star Weekly he did not generate the petition.
“I had nothing to do with the creation of the petition. “In fact, I wasn’t aware of its existence until
you brought it to my attention,” he said.
“I do, however, agree with the sentiments of it.”
Mr Attard said he was at a loss to explain how components of his letter had been used as key passages in the petition but said he remained extremely concerned about the level crossing.
“I ride my bike from Deer Park to the CBD every day and when this issue started I would be stuck at the crossing for, at times, in excess of 40 continuous minutes.
“Most days Victoria Police was present. Talking to a few of them while we waited for the boom gates to rise, they stated that they had to be there as drivers were trying to get through the crossing in a number of ways,” he said.