The Eastern Transport Coalition has welcomed the announcement that funding has been allocated for planning and pre-construction work at two level crossings in Blackburn and Bayswater.
“The ETC has been campaigning for many years to have these level crossings removed to allow for greater efficiency on their respective train lines and to alleviate road congestion,’’ ETC spokesperson Cr Samantha Dunn said.
“The level crossings at Blackburn Rd, Blackburn and Mountain Highway and Scoresby Road, Bayswater are renowned for the traffic gridlock they create and the ETC looks forward to hearing details about what work will take place to remove them and when it will begin.”
Transport Minister Terry Mulder announced yesterday that that the State Government would spend $52.3 million to “kick start planning and works at…seven dangerous level crossings around Melbourne”, including those at Blackburn and Bayswater.
Cr Dunn said it was also pleasing to hear the Minster reiterate that construction would begin later this year at Mitcham and Springvale level crossings, with a scheduled completion time by the end of 2014.
“There are many other rail/road crossing points that need to be removed if the government truly wants to alleviate road congestion while at the same time allowing Melbourne’s public transport network to operate at its optimal efficiency,” Cr Dunn said.
“Our residents are also waiting for the government to commit funding for Stage 2 of the Rowville Rail Study, implement more than 90 per cent of the recommendations from the 2010 Metropolitan Bus Services Review and begin work stage 2 of the Doncaster Rail study.
“We hope that there will be more public transport announcements for the eastern suburbs in the forthcoming budget to address the shortfall in funding that the region has suffered for too many years.”
The ETC is made up of seven eastern suburban councils, and represents the public transport needs of more than one million residents.