Relevant State Government Ministers, Shadow Ministers and local MPs were invited to meet Brimbank Council today at Deer Park train station during morning peak hour to witness firsthand the traffic chaos at the level crossing caused by increased train services.
Brimbank Council is lobbying for the fast track removal of dangerous, congested level crossings on the Ballarat Rail-line in Deer Park and Sunshine West.
The politicians were invited to be at Deer Park train station from 7.30am, to view the traffic congestion and dangerous conditions caused by boom gates being down for 52 per cent of the core peak hour, and discuss the issue with Brimbank Councillors.
Brimbank Mayor Cr Margaret Giudice said Council has been sharing its concerns about the dangerous level crossings with local MPs and other politicians, and was appreciative of indications of support.
“Brimbank Council is calling on the State Government to fast track grade separations at Station Road, Deer Park, Robinsons Road, Deer Park; and Fitzgerald Road, Sunshine West, as the only way to reduce congestion and create a safer, more connected community.
“We’ve also been holding discussions with local MPs to gain their support for removal of these dangerous level crossings.
“Increased trains on the Geelong and Ballarat train lines have created an urgent need for grade separations at the intersections of Station Road, Deer Park; Robinsons Road, Deer Park; and Fitzgerald Road, Sunshine West.
“From 6.30am onwards, city-bound trains through Deer Park have people standing, travelling on country trains not designed for standing passengers. This means V/Line will need to put on more trains to meet existing commuter demand, which will make the traffic congestion situation even more of a nightmare in peak hours.
“While it is good to see more trains operating, the flow on effects of increased train frequencies on the Geelong and Ballarat train lines and increasing traffic are causing havoc on surrounding local roads in Brimbank.
“Traffic around the level crossings of Station Road, Deer Park; Robinsons Road, Deer Park; and Fitzgerald Road, Sunshine West is congested and slow moving, putting the safety of drivers, pedestrians and rail commuters at grave risk.
“Boom gates down for 30-40 minutes per hour during morning peak time, with traffic backing up for more than 650 metres in peak periods. In some cases vehicles are parking across the tracks and attempting to go around boom gates, as the boom gates can be down for up to 9 minutes at a time, and for over 52 per cent of the core peak hour.
“Council has received numerous complaints from community members expressing their concern with the current situation.
“We have received a number of positive responses from MPs, assuring Council of their understanding of the problem, and support for the existing level crossings to be considered for removal.
“The State Government’s commitment to a $500 million upgrade of the Ballarat rail line and the purchase of additional VLocity trains is obviously welcome for commuters as it will reduce overcrowding, and improve reliability. However the impacts on the road network needs to be planned for and addressed.
“This underlines the need for grade separations at Station Road, Deer Park; Robinsons Road, Deer Park; and Fitzgerald Road, Sunshine West,” Cr Giudice said.