The Andrews Labor Government will remove 10 more level crossings by 2025, meaning 85 dangerous and congested crossings gone for good.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan today visited the level crossing removal site at Edithvale Road on the Frankston line – where they helped remove the 50th set of boom gates.
In 2014, the Government promised to remove 50 level crossings by 2022 – an election commitment built on in 2018 when we promised to remove 75 by 2025. In the last six years, we’ve removed 46 crossings, built 26 new and upgraded stations and delivered 30km of bike paths.
We’re also creating around 20 MCGs of open space across Melbourne and have created 5,000 jobs.
Being so far ahead of schedule allows for extra crossings to be added to the list – meaning the Government will now remove 85 death traps by 2025.
With work underway at more than 20 sites and one crossing being removed on average every four weeks in 2021, it makes sense to get rid of these extra crossings while crews are already on the ground.
More than 4,000 new jobs will be created as part of these extra crossing removals – 2,100 direct and 1,900 indirect jobs like manufacturing workers, mechanics, software programmers to cleaners. Opportunities will also be created for small businesses across a variety of industries including construction, manufacturing, catering and hospitality, accommodation, software, administration, mechanics and cleaners.
The new crossings to go by 2025 include three more on the Pakenham line, including two in Beaconsfield and another – plus a new station – in Narre Warren where boom gates are down up to 40 minutes in the morning peak. Removing the crossings will allow more trains more often on Melbourne’s busiest line and keep traffic moving in these growing suburbs.
Two more crossings will be removed on the Lilydale line, with the level crossing at Dublin Road removed by a new rail trench under the road plus a new station at Ringwood East, and a rail bridge and new station in Croydon.
On the Belgrave line, a rail trench will be built under Bedford Road in Ringwood, meaning no more crossings between the city and Ferntree Gully.
One of the Sunbury line’s most congested level crossings at Calder Park will be removed with a new road bridge over the rail line – saving travel time for the 11,000 vehicles going through the crossing each day.
On the Frankston line, two more crossings will be removed at Mentone and Parkdale, with the preferred solution to build a rail bridge between Mentone and Parkdale and a new station at Parkdale.
The dangerous level crossing in Keon Park on the Mernda Line will be removed by building a rail bridge and a new Keon Park Station. Alarmingly, there have been 14 near misses at the intersection since 2012.
Preferred design solutions have been selected for each location however a team of technical engineers will continue to assess and refine each one, ahead of final designs being confirmed.
The removal of these 10 crossings will allow for four other level crossings to be closed – at Cave Hill in Lilydale, Holden Road in Calder Park, Station Street in Officer and Progress Street in South Dandenong.
All together these removals will mean two of Melbourne’s busiest train lines – Pakenham and Lilydale – will become level crossing free.
This package of works will cost up to $2.5 billion providing a significant boost to Victoria’s economy and local communities as they continue to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“We promised to remove 50 level crossings by 2022 and we’re more than a year ahead of schedule. It’s an incredible achievement that has created jobs, reduced congestion on our roads and opened up space for more trains, more often.”
“Instead of just finishing early, we’re going to do more – getting rid of more crossings, creating more jobs and making more communities safer.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan
“Every Victorian knows the dinging sound of boom gates coming down and the frustration that comes with it, that’s why we’re getting rid of them – saving lives, easing congestion and getting you home sooner.”
“We’ve already removed 46 level crossing well ahead of schedule and these extra sites will give a boost to our economy after the pandemic and support small business and hundreds of jobs.”
Reviewed 29 July 2021