Council welcomes fast-tracking of two level crossing removals along Ballarat rail line

Brimbank Council has welcomed the State Government’s announcement to fast-track the removal of two dangerous and congested level crossings in Deer Park and Sunshine West (Ardeer).

The two level crossings have been fast tracked for removal by 2023, with construction to start early next year. The Robinsons Road Deer Park level crossing will be removed with a road underpass, and the Fitzgerald Road in Sunshine West level crossing with a road overpass.

Brimbank Mayor, Cr Georgina Papafotiou welcomed the news and said the State Government commitment is another step forward to the much-needed rail and safety improvements along this busy corridor.

‘Council has been actively advocating for improved rail infrastructure and the level crossing removals along the Ballarat rail line for some time.

‘We’re extremely pleased to see the State Government delivering these improvement works earlier than expected for our community.

‘We know through our campaigning that motorists face significant delays travelling through these crossings, creating traffic chaos none of us want to see continue.

‘This announcement is testament to what can be achieved when Council and the community work together, and for that I thank the community for supporting our campaign for the removal of the level crossings.

‘Removing the two level crossings will significantly decrease traffic delays and improve travel for many local residents and people living in surrounding suburbs.

‘Council also looks forward to further announcements regarding the level crossing removal at the Mt Derrimut Road, Deer Park crossing which will reduce congestion and create a safer, more connected community.

In June 2018, Council and local MPs witnessed firsthand the traffic chaos at the Mt Derrimut Road level crossing – with boom gates down for up to 52 per cent of the core peak hour leading to long delays and frustrated commuters. Later in September, we delivered a community petition signed by 3000 locals to the office of Member for St Albans, Natalie Suleyman MP, calling for the removal of these level crossings.

‘We look forward to working together with the State Government to deliver on these upgrade projects that will improve safety and boost rail services in the area.

‘It’s critical we have quality design principles that revitalise these public areas and support safer travel for people living in the West.

‘That’s why Council has developed the Deer Park Rail Corridor Urban Design Principles and is ready to contribute to the development of this project – to ensure high quality design outcomes are achieved for the local community.

‘We also recognise this means positive outcomes and more job opportunities for the west, and we’re grateful it comes at time our community need it the most.

‘On behalf of Council, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the State Government on what we hope is just the first of more fast-tracked project announcements to come. We look forward to these major infrastructure improvements that will support safer travel for drivers, pedestrians and rail commuters in the west,’ Cr Papafotiou said.

This announcement also follows on from some recent transport advocacy success which Council has welcomed, including $4 million from the Federal Government towards upgrading the Ballarat Road and Hulett Street Intersection, and $2 million from the State Government to upgrade Green Gully Road.

Council looks forward to working with the State Government in helping deliver the level crossing removal projects, and to securing further investment in local transport and community projects that will help Brimbank begin to recover and rebuild in response to COVID-19, as part of a local Health, Wellbeing and Economic Response Package.

We encourage community members to get involved and provide feedback on the look and feel of the two level crossing removal projects by visiting www.engage.vic.gov.au

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