Communities in Melbourne’s inner north will enjoy better connections and more open space as part of a $1 billion investment in level crossing removal works in Coburg, Brunswick and Preston.
As the Andrews Labor Government promised, an elevated rail design will see the removal of four dangerous and congested level crossings on the Upfield line and another four on the Mernda line.
The crossings at Bell, Reynard and Munro Streets in Coburg and Moreland Road in Brunswick will be gone for good next year. In 2020, major works will start in Preston to raise a section of the Mernda line — getting rid of level crossings at Murray Road, Bell Street, Cramer Street and Oakover Road by 2021.
As part of these projects, new stations will be built at Coburg, Moreland, Preston and Bell with the heritage-listed station buildings at Coburg and Moreland preserved. The Coburg and Brunswick communities will soon be invited to provide feedback on aspects of the project including the new open space and Upfield Bike Path improvements created by the elevated rail design.
This design also means the least amount of disruption — lowering the rail line would take at least 18 months longer.
In Preston, elevating the Mernda line will also mean new open space and will minimise the length of disruption.
About 150,000 vehicles pass through these eight level crossings in Melbourne’s inner north each day – more than use the Western Ring Road. The boom gates can be down for up to 40 per cent of the two-hour morning peak. Combined, these crossings have seen more than 50 near misses since 2005, two serious injuries and one fatality.
Locals will have an opportunity to provide feedback and share ideas on the use of open space through information sessions and online engagement. For more information visit levelcrossings.vic.gov.au
Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure, Jacinta Allan
“We said we’d get rid of them and now we’re getting on with the job of removing these dangerous crossings.”
“This is part of a huge investment in the inner north creating jobs and better connections for those living and working in these communities.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Pascoe Vale Lizzie Blandthorn
“It’s exciting to see these crossings will now be removed proving great new precincts for the community.”
“Our community will soon have an opportunity to provide their feedback about what they would like to see in the new open space.”
Quote attributable to Member for Preston Robin Scott
“Removing these four level crossings in Preston will make a huge improvement to people’s lives. It will mean no more huge waits at peak hour and will unite East and West Preston as one suburb.”
Quote attributable to Member for Northcote Kat Theophanous
“The community is excited about the change removing these dangerous and congested level crossings will make to how we move around these precincts, as well as the new opportunities for open space.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020