The Eastern Transport Coalition has welcomed yesterday’s announcement by Transport Minister Jacinta Allen that two level crossing at Bayswater would be removed within the next two years.

ETC Chairman, Cr Peter Lockwood, who is also the Mayor of Knox Council, said it was a project that the Council had been working towards for the past decade.

“The ETC supports the removal of level crossings around Melbourne as a key element towards improving the efficiency and capacity of the Melbourne rail network,’’ Cr Lockwood said.

“The crossings at Scoresby Rd and the Mountain Highway cause terrible traffic congestion in the Bayswater area which affects cars and buses, so removing these crossings is a great outcome for all public transports and road users.

“We will continue to work with VicRoads and the Level Crossing Removal Authority as well as local residents to ensure the project can begin as soon as possible and to achieve the best possible outcome.

“This is not just a transport project. This major infrastructure upgrade will significantly improve how the Knox community uses and access Bayswater.”

The Minister announced that work would begin this year and said both to level crossings would be gone by late 2017. The work will include lowering the rail line and raising the Mountain Highway and Scoresby Rd, to ensure that trains can continue to access the maintenance yard between the crossings.

Bayswater station will be rebuilt to create a friendly transport hub, with new platforms below road level, better cycling facilities and improved pedestrian access.