Brimbank Council has welcomed Labor’s promise to remove three dangerous and congested level crossings in Deer Park and Sunshine West (Ardeer), and to upgrade Deer Park train station, if it wins this weekend’s State Election.
Mayor of Brimbank, Cr Lucinda Congreve said Council had been advocating for the removal of the level crossings along the Ballarat rail line at Station Road, Deer Park; Robinsons Road, Deer Park; and Fitzgerald Road, Sunshine West for a long time.
“We have been pushing for the State Government to fast track the grade separations at these levels crossings as a matter of priority.
“We have also been calling for an upgrade to Deer Park train station.
“In June we invited relevant State Government Ministers, Shadow Ministers and local MPs to Deer Park train station during morning peak hour, to witness firsthand the traffic chaos at the level crossing caused by increased train services.
“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.
“This announcement is testament to what can be achieved when Council and the community work together to bring about change.
“Thank you to all those residents who worked hard to collect signatures and have contributed to securing this Labor pledge.
“I am confident I speak for many in the community when I say we welcome this election promise and hope to see these much-needed works happen very soon,” Cr Congreve said.
Increased train frequencies along the Ballarat line and increasing traffic have created an urgent need for grade separations.
Boom gates are down for 30-40 minutes per hour during morning peak times creating a traffic choke point.
This includes periods of up to nine minutes where multiple trains are going through, including trains stopping at Deer Park, which means barrier gates are down for longer than necessary.
The roads are so heavily congested in peak periods that drivers are becoming frustrated and can display erratic driving behaviour. This increases the risks for all road users.
Buses also face substantial delays at the Station Road and Fitzgerald Road crossings.
In October, Council welcomed Labor’s election commitment to invest in electrifying the Ballarat rail line from Southern Cross to Melton as part of its Western Rail Plan.
The upgrade is in line with the advocacy work of the Ballarat Rail Action Committee, of which Council is a member.
Photo: Councillors Sam David JP and Kim Thien Truong delivering a petition to remove level crossings to State MP Natalie Suleyman's office in September 2018.