The TrackSAFE Foundation has applauded the Victorian Government on its announcement to remove on of Victoria’s ‘Top 10’ worst level crossings and convert it into a rail underpass.
In a TrackSAFE survey conducted last year with train drivers across Australia, the Main Road crossing at St Albans was listed as one of the Top 10 worst level crossings in the state.
TrackSAFE Board Director and Australasian Railway Association (ARA) CEO, Bryan Nye OAM, welcomed the announcement saying that the Victorian Government’s continued commitment to level crossing safety showed just how serious it is about tackling the issue.
“The announcement of the removal of this level crossing, which has a proven history of being incredibly dangerous, is welcomed by the rail industry and we are encouraged to see a state government taking action in addressing this ongoing national issue,” said Mr Nye.
Earlier this year the Victorian Government completed its 50th level crossing upgrade at another identified ‘Top 10’ worst location at Aerodrome Road in Avenel.
“There are thousands of near hits at pedestrian and level crossing every year and each one is just seconds’ way from becoming a potential disaster,” Mr Nye continued.
“There have been 39 near hits at St Albans alone and tragically two fatalities. To avoid further incidents and trauma caused to everyone involved, including the train drivers themselves, it is imperative that governments look to remove these dangerous crossings.
“Level crossing safety remains one of the rail industry’s highest safety priorities; this is partly why TrackSAFE was established, to try to do more to address the ongoing issue of level crossing safety.
“Primarily TrackSAFE carries out education and awareness campaigns to highlight safety issues, to have practical support in the engineering space from government can only further help our cause,” Mr Nye concluded.
By 2017, the Main Road crossing at St Albans will be converted to a rail underpass in a project worth more than $200 million that will include the reconstruction of St Albans railway station and a new bus interchange, station car park and pedestrian overpass.