The Andrews Labor Government will remove another level crossing on the Mernda line by 2025, boosting safety and easing congestion for passengers and local motorists.
Since 2016, the Labor Government has removed one level crossing on the Mernda line and started removing another four, while three new stations have been built or are underway.
But there is more to do – so the level crossing at Keon Parade in Keon Park is set to go – allowing for more trains and supporting small business and hundreds of jobs as our economy continues to recover from the pandemic.
Removing this extra crossing will mean six level crossings on the line will be gone for good – improving safety, reducing congestion and allowing more trains to run without frustrating boom gate delays. It will also ease congestion on the busy M80 Ring Road and the 903 SmartBus route.
With work underway at more than 20 sites across Melbourne, including four on the Mernda line, and one crossing being removed on average every four weeks in 2021, it makes sense to get rid of this extra level crossing while crews are already on the ground. It will maximise efficiencies and means more level crossings can go sooner.
This extra removal will not only support local businesses and create new jobs but importantly will give people across Melbourne better access to work, healthcare services, education and recreation.
Early investigations suggest the most likely design to remove the Keon Parade crossing will be a rail bridge over the road, however technical engineers will continue to assess and refine this option before designs are finalised.
As part of the project, a new station will be built at Keon Park, with modern facilities for this growing community.
Around 18,000 vehicles currently travel through this crossing each day and frustratingly, the boom gates can be down for up to 34 per cent of the morning peak, when up to 30 trains run through this intersection.
The level crossing at High Street in Reservoir was removed in 2019, while the crossings at Oakover Road, Bell Street, Cramer Street and Murray Road in Preston are being removed, making busy Bell Street level crossing free.
The removal of the level crossings in Reservoir has transformed the traffic flow through this area and the removal of the adjacent crossing at Keon Parade will reduce congestion, slash travel times and improve safety even further.
The Government has also extended the line from South Morang to Mernda with three new stations. This new level crossing removal is part of an extra 10 crossing removals across Melbourne announced by the Labor Government.
Construction on these next 10 level crossing removals – which will bring the number of level crossings gone for good to 85 – will begin by 2022 and be delivered by 2025.
Since 2016, the Government has removed 46 level crossings, built 26 new and upgraded stations, created over 5,000 jobs, delivered 30km of bike paths and is creating around 20 MCGs of open space and for local communities across Melbourne to enjoy.
For more information about the new level crossing removals and preferred solutions, visit levelcrossings.vic.gov.au.
As stated by 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 crossings well ahead of schedule. These extra sites will boost our economy after the pandemic and support hundreds of jobs.”
As stated by Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny
“Getting rid of the level crossing at Keon Parade and building a brand new station is a huge win for the local community – saving them time on the road and making frustrating boom gate delays a thing of the past.”