The Andrews Labor Government has invested up to $2.4 billion in its first Budget to kick-start the removal of 50 of Victoria’s most dangerous and congested level crossings.
The unprecedented investment is part of the 2015-16 Victorian Budget which confirms the Labor Government will deliver on its promise to fund the removal of at least 20 level crossings in its first term.
The first 17 crossings to go under Labor’s $5-6 billion Level Crossing Removal Project have now been identified.
Last month, Labor announced that all nine level crossings between Dandenong and Caulfield would be removed as part of its multi-billion dollar plan to transform the Cranbourne-Pakenham line with high-capacity trains, new stations and better signalling.
On top of these nine, the four level crossings already out to market at Main Road in St Albans, North Road in Ormond, Burke Road in Glen Iris, and Blackburn Road in Blackburn will be removed within the next three years.
Premier Andrews revealed today that the Level Crossing Removal Authority has already taken market soundings for four additional level crossing removals located close to the four already out to market. These are:
- Furlong Road, near Main Road in St Albans
- Heatherdale Road near Blackburn Road in Blackburn
- Centre Road, Bentleigh
- McKinnon Road, McKinnon
The Labor Government will combine these level crossings in packages of work with those already out to market to drive down costs, reduce disruption to rail and road users by combining line closures, and accelerate the delivery of the Level Crossing Removal Project.
The first package of work is expected to be awarded later this month, with all 17 contracted this year. All 17 level crossings will be removed by 2018, with extra sites to be identified in the coming months.
Quotes attributable to Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews
“Victorians have had enough of these congested death traps – they have to go.”
“This $2.4 billion investment is about keeping the promise we made to the Victorian people and getting people home safer and sooner.”
Quotes attribute to Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan
“Now we have the funding, we can get on with removing the first 17 level crossings, improving safety, reducing congestion and enabling more train services every day.”
“By packaging these level crossing removals, we will deliver them faster, cheaper and with less disruption.”