Melbourne, Victoria: Labor Government’s reputation will be on the line at level crossings

2 Dec

With both the Labor opposition and the ruling coalition upping the stakes on the number of level crossings to be eliminated in Greater Melbourne as the state election campaign progressed. Labor took the bidding to 50 to be eliminated within eight years and now as the incoming state Government it is no surprise that the bidding has turned to priorities for grade separation.

The Royal Automobile Club of Victoria which has long-championed the case for eliminating level crossings, particularly within the Melbourne conurbation, is first off the blocks with a prioritised list as follows:
– High Street, Spring Street, Cheddar Road, Reservoir
– Burke Road between Monash Freeway and Malvern Road, Glen Iris
– Toorak Road between Milton Parade and Auburn Road, Kooyong
– Murumbeena Road / Neerim Road, Murrumbeena
– Koornang Road / Morton Avenue, Carnegie
– Clayton Road and Carinish Road, Clayton
– Centre Road, Clayton
– Main Road East and Main Road West, St Albans
– Cherry Street, Werribee
– Werribee Street, Werribee
– Bell Street, Coburg

There are concerns that Labor will be unable to unlock funding to eliminate the first 20 within a four-year parliamentary term and thirty in the following parliament. For the first 20 Labor has a budget of AUD2-2.4 billion which implies that eliminating each of the crossings will cost AUD100-120 million a level crossing. These costs are significantly lower than the AUD 180 million ­average cost the outgoing Government says is likely.

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