The Andrews Labor Government has now removed 17 dangerous and congested level crossings, with two more gone in Melbourne’s booming south east.
Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan was at Clayton Station today to mark the occasion and catch one of the very first passenger trains to run on the latest section of elevated track.
With level crossings at Centre and Clayton Roads now removed, ambulances transporting critically ill patients to Monash Hospital will no longer be held up by boom gates – which used to put lives at risk.
Prior to their removal, the boom gates were down at the notorious Clayton Road level crossing for up to 82 minutes in the two-hour morning peak, creating major local traffic congestion.
The former level crossing was located at a crucial nexus for health, education and research in Melbourne’s south east, just 550 metres from the Monash Hospital and a few kilometres away from major employers Monash University, CSIRO, and the Australian Synchotron.
The station features an improved layout, dedicated interchanges for buses, bikes and taxis, as well as 86 additional car parks, making it better equipped to handle the high volume of passengers who use it each day.
Meanwhile, work is continuing to rip up old tracks and create parks, paths and play areas right along the rail line.
Today’s announcement comes at the end of an around-the-clock construction blitz and marks another major step towards removing every single level crossing between Caulfield and Dandenong.
Last week, boom gates at Clayton Road were carried away by work crews, cheered on by around 150 onlookers who gathered to catch the historic moment for themselves.
A construction blitz starting next month on the Frankston line will see the removal of the twentieth dangerous and congested level crossing, fulfilling the Labor Government’s election commitment.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Jacinta Allan
“This brings us another massive step closer to achieving exactly what we said we would – getting rid of every single level crossing between Caulfield and Dandenong.”
“It’s simply not okay to have ambulances regularly waiting at boom gates for five or ten minutes at a stretch – yet this is exactly what has happened at this crossing for decades.”
“We thank passengers for their patience during these disruptions – but without action now, the congestion would continue to grow and our network would grind to a halt.”