Priority call - remove all level crossings

Growing call to remove crossings

The call to remove all 65 level crossings on South East Queensland’s Citytrain network – including seven on the Caboolture line in Moreton Bay Region - is getting louder.

Infrastructure Australia (IA) is the latest organisation to back the move joining the RACQ and Rail Back On Track lobby group.

IA has added the ‘South East Queensland level crossings congestion and safety’ initiative to its latest Infrastructure Priority List.

Safety first

The main concerns are safety (for trains, vehicles and pedestrians) and rising congestion on roads around rail crossings.

Robert Dow, of Rail Back On Track, said no level crossings had been removed in SEQ since 2014 at Telegraph Rd, Bald Hills and in Geebung. Yet since 2015 Victoria had removed 46.

“Level crossing removal is very important,” says Mr Dow, “it is for safety primarily, but there are many other reasons.

“It reduces traffic congestion, is better for other public transport such as buses, removes a lot of risks for pedestrians, and it helps trains to run faster and more frequent. "

"On top of that, emergency vehicles can also get stuck at crossings.”

Worst in region

On the group’s Facebook page readers said crossings at South Pine Rd, Strathpine, Todds Rd, Lawnton and Pumicestone Rd, Caboolture were the worst in Moreton Bay Region.

Others in this region are at Mackie Rd, Narangba; Rowley Rd, Burpengary; Station Rd, Morayfield and McKean St, Caboolture.

Mr Dow has monitored Victoria’s replacement program and says its speed and success had been “staggering” with it transforming transport networks and suburbs.

A spokesperson for IA says “significant delays, congestion and safety costs” had driven its decision to put crossing removal on the latest Priority List.

Significant problem

“With increasing train frequency these issues are expected to significantly worsen, especially combined with increased commuter and local traffic,” the spokesperson said.

“We concluded the level crossings represent a nationally significant problem that needs to be addressed.”

RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael says all levels of government need to work together to develop and fund an ongoing program.

“While some sites have partial funding, we believe there needs to be a co-ordinated commitment from Federal, State, and Local governments,” says Dr Michael.

“The removal of level crossings would improve safety, congestion and rail service across South East Queensland.

“Upgrades could also include building overpasses and installing warning systems, such as vehicle and pedestrian boom gates and flashing lights.”

Crossings needing priority removal

Rail Back On Rail:

Boundary Road, Coopers Plains (business case underway)

Cavendish Road, Coorparoo

Beams Road, Carseldine (business case underway)

South Pine Road, Alderley

Wacol Station Road, Wacol

Kianawah Rd/Lindum Rd, Hemmant

Warrigal Rd, Fruitgrove,

Old Beaudesert Rd, Salisbury

Trinder Crossing, Trinder Park,

Stones Rd, Sunnybank

RACQ:

Boundary Road, Coopers Plains

South Pine Road, Alderley

Cavendish Road, Coorparoo

Warrigal Road, Runcorn

Kianawah/Lindum Road, Lindum

Beams Road, Carseldine

Wacol Station Road, Wacol.

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