The Andrews Labor Government has started work on 50 level crossing removals, a project that will get Victorians home safer and sooner if they drive or use public transport.
Premier Daniel Andrews joined Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, at the level crossing on Centre Rd in Bentleigh today to announce the establishment of the Level Crossings Removal Authority, which will deliver the project.
The planning of the project has been fast-tracked. $100 million in funding will be used to progress planning works and establish the Authority, with $3 million provided immediately so work can start as soon as possible.
As a project of historic significance to Melbourne’s road and rail network, an overarching business case will be developed for the full Level Crossings Removal Project.
The project will create 4,500 jobs. Approximately 100 people will be employed for the life of each level crossing removal, though this can increase to 300 during peak construction.
Four of the level crossings slated for removal are already out to market, with construction expected to commence later this year at Main Rd in St Albans, Blackburn Rd in Blackburn, Burke Rd in Glen Iris and North Rd in Ormond.
The number of level crossings in Melbourne is unusually high. Other cities have previously funded programs to remove level crossings, reducing congestion and saving lives.
Level crossings constitute half of the RACV’s worst traffic spots in metropolitan Melbourne. Removing them will reduce congestion on the road, increase safety for everyone and allow more train services.
A study by VicRoads experts says the addition of just three more train services on the Dandenong rail corridor will see the gates at the Poath Rd, Murrumbeena level crossing stay shut for 50 minutes over the morning peak.
Removing 50 level crossings (including 14 along the Dandenong rail corridor) is a key step to transforming our public transport system into an international-style metro, with more trains running more often.
Quotes attributable to Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews
“We’re getting Victorians home safer and sooner by fixing our number one traffic nightmare.”
“They hold up cars, they slow down trains, they take young lives, they’ve got to go.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan
“Level crossings are our biggest cause of congestion and our biggest impediment to growth.”
“We want to build the transport system of the future but level crossings keep us stuck in the past.”